Mamer – Eagle (2009)


While I don’t consider myself an active listener of “World” music, one of my new favorite musicians has made me realize that I really need to explore this genre more. His name is Mamer and he is from Xinjiang, China.

Mamer’s reinterprets ancient Kazak folk songs with a modernized alt-country aesthetic, using instruments such as an open-tuned acoustic guitar, dombra, sherter (plucked lute), Jew’s harp, and dabel drum. He searches for inspiration from the old and new, saying “I always stay awhile with the old people in the mountains, learning their songs and traditions. Without this a whole way of life will be lost to the young generation. I want to breathe new life into the poems and songs I grew up with.”

Some contributing musicians on his debut release, Eagle, include French composer Hector Zazou, a throat singer named Ilichi, Bela Fleck, and Mamer’s former band IZ. Fleck and Mamer play dual banjos on “Celebration,” and it’s pretty  amazing.

I can’t recommend this album enough. It’s soothing to the ears, original, and overall, just one of the most enjoyable albums I’ve listened to recently. Mamer sings in the Kazakh language, so there is absolutely no way one who doesn’t speak the Kazakh language will know what he is saying (unless you hire a costly translator, which I  strongly considered doing, but ultimately decided against).

Eagle (2009):

Mamer – Kargashai

Mamer – Celebration

Myspace | Amazon |iTunes| Real World Records (label & more bio info)

Eagle does not release in the UK until May 15th, but you can Pre-order from Real World Records (link above).


15 thoughts on “Mamer – Eagle (2009)

  1. Dear Mamer,
    I enjoy your music, especially the irregularity in rhythm in a seemingly regular timeframe.
    Love Mari

  2. Heard the interview on NPR yesterday.

    Very excited to hear about your music.

    Very much hope you will come to Chicago during your tour.


  3. I heard your music on NPR last night. I enjoyed your music so very much, so refreshing to my soul. Thank you so very much

  4. I saw Mamer live in Montreal a few weeks ago, as part of the CBC’s taping of their Earth Day special. It was only a couple songs, as there were 9 artists on the bill, but he was amazing. If anyone gets the chance to see him, it’s worth your while.

  5. Best thing i have heard in a long time. just saw them in concert in Hong Kong . very powerful, dark and raw, the folklore part being the background for inner turmoil.

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