Nature Ganganbaigal burst onto my musical horizons courtesy of a game soundtrack and I have since been diving back through his catalogue. Creating Mongolian folk music, releasing his debut album last year, he followed it up with an EP’ “The Mantra” this year. It feels like a natural extension of the album “To Where Tengger Takes Me” and has some utterly beautifully tracks,
The easiest of these to start with is the title track. A low humming vocal mantra that sounds almost synthesised crates a meditative state whilst acoustic guitars switch from gentle chord patterns to big elaborative strums and string bending chorus sections. As it follows a verse/chorus structure, it feels the most simple place to start. “White Pony” literally takes the galloping pony nature and translates it to a sawing of the guitar. There’s some excellent percussive uses of guitar strings and the motion of a pony on the loose translates into an energetic piece. The final minute or so is a much slower pace, as if you’ve either made it home and are resting, or you’ve knackered yourself out. The jews harp in this section is cute, and the echoing distance Mongolian chants slide beautifully around the ancient string arrangements.
“Leader Wolf” feels more aboriginal new age than anything Mongolian. It also has a whole boss theme from a cowboy/jungle RPG game feel to it as the acoustic guitar rocks the minor notes and is drenched in a didgeridoo synth. The middle section transforms things into a more Cowboy styled track with quirky guitar arrangements and uplifting chord structures. Such a great piece! “Ancient Gobi Road” changes the musical palette to a more percussive and electric instrument set. The traditional Asian instrumentation is captured in all its allure as it slides around notes and straddles chords with ease. It also has something slightly foreboding and sly to its feel and nature – almost slithery. It’s a natural dancer track too and is beautifully put together. The EP closes with “Life Rattles On” which is an epic ballad track. The interplay from string to strum is amazing and displays all the emotion of the Mongolian instrumentation at its finest.
Nature Ganganbaigal continues to weave a potent mix of beautiful instrumentation, classic themes and strong emotion. I am very much a fan and I hope he continues to showcase Mongolian folk at its finest.