On The Scene: 2012 Hanggai Music Festival


Late coming for sure…but between this, Strawberry Festival, and the other festivals (haven’t ever begun to think of those) it has been chaos over here – I swear my iMac is contemplating suicide every day. The 2012 Hanggai Music Festival just seemed too good to pass up. And the blistering hot Saturday it was it was more than glad that the festivities where held in Mako Livehouse. So how do things go – well here’s a brief rundown of the acts I caught.
Khorgan got things started, and watching a gang of awe-stricken kids at front stage curiously taking in the music, a mix of grassroots Mongolian and funk, I knew it was going to be a nice laid back day full of good tunes.

The next group “佳佳与朋友们”, which roughly translates to Allison and Friends had a more experimental approach to world music, with electronic backing and chanting from the lead singer.

It might have been a bit much for me to digest on a Saturday afternoon, but the sheer talent up on stage was undeniable.
OTOR is what I guess you get when you have a bunch of middle-aged dudes, with lots of spare time and talent to just jam together.

I love how they are all lineup across the stage, it really brings the communal aspect of their tunes out in front.


If OTOR brought a more old school approach to traditional music, then The Nine Treasures definitely took a new age attitude to the sound.

This is folk metal done right! It was a nice breath of fresh air to see that younger bands get into the mix.


The highlight of the day by far was Xi Ban, the world music group, based out of Shanghai, who continue to impress me.

The blending of influences here and how fluidly it all comes together still amazes me. It never comes off as pretentious or overbearing either. In fact, “Na Chu Lai” may just be one of the most hilarious and awesome jams ever, which sounds to me like its basically is about whipping it out to some degree.

Whatever the case may be, you can’t deny the catchy hook here – my friends and I have be sprouting “na chu lay, na chu lay” up and down these streets all month now.


Shanren can do no wrong in my book – they’re pros when it comes to putting a smile on your face and creating an infectious vibe that spreads like wildfire.

These guys are like some strange breed of rock stars which I can’t fully comprend yet. These something extremely zen-like with how these kids present themselves that I can’t shake off.

Whether or not Shanren is Buddha reincarnated, by the end of their set, the whole place was in high spirits.


My last act of the night, before I headed off to a going away party, was the French Reunion islander Tiloun, and I must say, the man has a beautiful voice that simply resonates from a deep love of his home.

You can particularly hear the waves crashing against the shore, and feel the sand between your toes as he his striking voice washes over you.

All in all, a great afternoon and evening of fun jams, interesting takes on world music, and old fashion fun. Check below for more videos from Shanren and photos as well!!!



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