Idioma disponible: inglésMongolian folk-metal band the Hu became a viral sensation in the late 2010s. Combining heavy Western rock with traditional Mongolian instrumentation and throat singing, they produce a unique sound that celebrated their nation's folk culture while promoting it around the world. The Hu was formed in 2016 in Mongolia's capitol, Ulaanbaatar. The members, all classically trained at the Mongolian State Conservatory, had known one another for years, but were finally brought together in a band by experienced producer Dashdondog "Dashka" Bayarmagnai, who had the idea of combining Mongolian traditional music with Western-style rock. Lead vocalist Galbadrakh "Gala" Tsendbaatar employed khoomei or overtone singing (sometimes known as throat singing); he and Enkhasaikhan "Enkush" Batjargal both played the morin khuur (horsehead fiddle); Nyamjantsan "Jaya" Galsanjamts provided tumur khuur (Jew's harp) and tsuur (flute), while Temuulen "Temka" Naranbaatar played tovshuur (lute). On record and live they were backed up by other musicians playing Western rock instruments. Calling their style "hunnu rock" ("hu" being the Mongolian root word for "human being" and the probable origin of the name of the ancient people now known in the West as the Huns), they aimed to celebrate and promote their country's traditions and culture. The closest Western analog is probably the Northern European folk metal of bands like Korpiklaani, but the Hu's sound was closer to the heavy boogie rock of AC/DC than any actual "metal." Their first two videos, "Yuve Yuve Yu" ("What's Going On?") and "Wolf Totem," released in late 2018, became viral hits, going on to rack up more than seven million views between them in the space of just a few months. Later singles "Shoog Shoog" and "The Great Chinggis Khaan" coincided with a European tour. Their debut album, The Gereg, was released in the West by Eleven Seven Records in 2019; its title comes from the name of the world's first diplomatic passport, used during the time of Genghis Khan. ~ John D. Buchanan
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