The Guardian review/ 28 October 2010
Albert Kuvesin has always been a maverick.
He comes from Tuva, out on the borders of Siberia and western Mongolia, where he became an expert in the extraordinary local style of throat singing, which allows him to hold two notes at once while producing strange, deep growling effects. But he was never a typical traditionalist, and his recordings with Yat-Kha have included folk songs, furious electric guitar work and cover versions of songs by his western heroes, including Led Zeppelin. Now he has changed direction yet again, moving to the remote Scottish island of Jura and the studio of producer and multi-instrumentalist Giles Perring to record this unlikely but often compelling set, which combines throat singing with Japanese poetry (which clearly fascinates Kuvesin) and sturdy acoustic melodies, performed by the now all-British members of the latest version of Yat-Kha. Kuvesin recites much in the way that he sings, with an extraordinary, deep growl, and his readings are matched by equally surprising and varied melodic backing work by the band, which includes Perring playing guitar, percussion and piano, Lu Edmonds (of Mekons and PiL fame) adding the Middle Eastern cümbüs, and Sarah Homer on clarinet. The title track is backed by a sturdy acoustic folk-rock theme, and elsewhere the settings range from eastern Asian influences to jazz, with Kuvesin backed by a wash of Scottish pipes on Talking to the Spirit of the Mountain. It's a strange, experimental set, but it actually works.