Hip-hop duo Fish Symboled Stamp splices together traditional ‘Khoomei’ and urban beats

Source:Reuters Published: 2017/7/31 17:18:39

Ulaanbaatar's urban music scene is buzzing with a new vibe created by a hip-hop duo mixing into their sound the traditional art of throat singing, or "Khoomei," as Mongolians refer to it.

Rap group Fish Symboled Stamp incorporates the nearly 1,000-year-old vocal tradition of communities across Siberia and Central Asia.

Khoomei means "pharynx," and performers imitate the sounds of nature, emitting a melody of harmonics alongside a continuous drone, UNESCO, which added the art form to its intangible heritage listing in 2009, says on a website describing it.

Lead bass vocalist Sanjjav Baatar, 32, founded the group with rapper Battogtokh Odsaikhan, 30, in 2010, when they started experimenting with music styles.

Finding the right voice took them some time.

"I couldn't understand what voice I should use," Baatar said. "One day my partner said, 'Why don't you rhyme with your Khoomei voice?' I tried it out, and it sounded really good."

Odsaikhan believes the cultural reference sets Fish Symboled Stamp apart from other Mongolian hip hop groups.



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