In September 2009, Yat-Kha's Albert Kuvezin embarked on a journey. It was to take him from Kyzyl in Tuva to the remote Scottish island of Jura, an island of 200 people best known perhaps for its whisky and as the home of George Orwell when he wrote 1984.
From a city that is one the furthest points from the sea anywhere on Earth, Albert voyaged to a makeshift recording studio, installed in an old stone one room school perched above a lonely bay and a stretch of sea that is aptly called The Sound Of Jura. This studio is the workplace of producer and multi instrumentalist Giles Perring, and together the pair spent a month working on the 12 tracks that have become the new, and purely acoustic album 'Poets And Lighthouses'.
To accompany Albert's vocals and acoustic guitar playing on this solo project, a new band assembled alongside Perring's contributions of percussion, vocals and various other instruments to create an unexpected but perfect sound for the project. It comprises bass specialist Simon Edwards [Fairground Attraction, Talk Talk, Beth Gibbons, Billy Bragg, Alain Bashung], string and fret maverick Lu Edmonds [The Mekons, PiL, The Damned, and Yat Kha], classical and folk clarinetist Sarah Homer [Sarum Orchestra, Royal Shakespeare Company] and vocalist extraordinaire Melanie Pappenheim [whose recorded work with Jocelyn Pook and Murray Gold is featured in major film and TV scores such as 'Eyes Wide Shut', 'Gangs Of New York' and 'Doctor Who']. The album also features a duet with guest Neil Cameron, a local master piper and whisky distiller.
The album includes songs in Tuvan and Russian and a number of English translations of Japanese poetry by Amano, Kamimura and Yamamoto, in whose work Albert immersed himself during his time on Jura. While the new album has emerged as a completely acoustic project, don't imagine for a second that this approach has in any way watered down Kuvezin's passion and power. The album will completely redefine and revise your notions of that remarkable beast that has been Albert Kuvezin's take on rock energy for the last 15 years. The band is blistering, sensual, atmospheric and funky, while Albert mutters, soars, intones and enchants like the true shamanic soul that he is.