Sasha Bapa, his brother, Sayan, and two other musicians, Kaigal-ool Khovalyg and Albert Kuvezin formed HUUN-HUUR-TU in 1992 to focus on the performance of, as Sasha put it, "old and forgotten songs". Sasha, Sayan, and Kaigal-ool were refugees from one of the large state-managed song and dance ensembles that became a fixture of official cultural life during the Soviet era. For decades these ensembles with their glitzy performances of folk music or pseudo folk music offered close to the only outlet for young musicians who wanted to earn a living playing indigenous music. But as the music business has become increasingly privatized throughout the former Soviet Union, many musicians have abandoned the state ensembles and formed their own groups. The musical results have been decidedly mixed.