Week #38 - The Armenia edition

TL;DR: I'm running a weekly newsletter with 5 songs and a short description, and a matching Spotify playlist if you want to subscribe.

For the non-Spotify readers, there is a Youtube link for each of the songs on the cover.

Listen to all the songs on Spotify

Week 38.

This week’s playlist is about music from Armenia, which celebrated its independence day on September 21st (in a very tense environment) . A  playlist I wanted to send for a while now, considering my strong links with this country.

For those who don’t know me, I lived in Armenia for 2 years (2006 and 2007), one of my first jobs abroad. I was 25. Two formative years, straight out of university in a country I had no idea of (even though I have some Armenian ancestry, hence the family name), in a pre-Youtube era, and very limited Internet over there. This moved me out of my comfort zone.

I also met some amazing friends some of them I’m still in touch with (and even reading this newsletter: I salute you :-))

This week’s playlist is an homage to the music I discovered during my time there. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

HILA - KhouanlePins

"HILA" is Artyom Manukyan, a Los Angeles-based Armenian cellist and David Kiledjian, a French multi-instrumentalist of Armenian descent. An explosive mix of traditional Armenian music themes through the lens of modern electronic music beats. An interesting fusion of 2 different music personalities. One grew up nurtured by the sounds of hip-hop and jazz in Europe and the other by art music and Russian-influenced 1980s Armenian folkloric music before moving to L. A.


Katuner - Oror

Katuner is one of the Armenian most prominent jazz bands, with a strong folk touch and instruments.

  • NB: Spotify listeners: this song is not available there so you’ll have to list to the link here
Jag Bambir - Hop Jan

Jag (Gagik Barseghian) founded the folk-rock group “Bambir'' in the 1970s in Armenia (I’ll come back to it in a minute), arranging pieces of Komitas (the Armenian composer) and other traditionel poems to music before starting to record their own material. This song is an anthem for Gyumri (the 2nd biggest city of Armenia) city of humor.

The Bambir - Khio

The new Bambir started in the late 90s. Narek (son of Jag, cf above) and Arman (son of an original member of "Bambir”) met with Arik at the age of 10 and started to play music, based on their parents’ core style, added modern elements, with a sprinkle of distortion. Always with the same energy, and 70s rock n roll spirit. I still remember the night I saw them in 2006 a glimps of rock music during a cold grey winter.

Tigran Hamasyan - Drip

The piano virtuoso colossus, who most of you know probably by now. Drip is from his Shadow Theater album, recorded with a whole rock band, and brings his very characteristic fusion sound of jazz music and Armenian traditional tunes to another level, adding more influences from Baroque dance to hip-hop.

Bonus (because 5 songs were not enough)

The Bambir - Beezzy
The Bambir - J.B.K.
The Bambir - 2 Kes
The Bambir - Peaceful Walk
Tigran Hamasyan - The Grid
Until the next time, Godspeed!

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