Phurpa – Ya Tog Rid Pa’I Gyer (DCD Album – Zoharum Release)
Genre/Influences: Ritual, ambient.
Background/Info: Set up in 2003, Phurpa is a Russian collective inspired by ritual music and Buddhism. It also is a prolific formation, which is releasing multiple albums a year. The main characteristic of the band remains the special type of tantric overtone singing/chanting, called gyukye (rgyud skad), from Tibetan words ‘rgyud’ (tantra) and ‘skad’ (sound of the voice). This singing is based on the principle of practitioner’s transmogrification during chanting meditation. This technique is achieved through an extensive training, including both meditation and physical, breathing and vocal exercises.
Content: Each disc features a long during piece of music, which more sounds as pure meditation. Next to the particular and tantric overtone, buzzing meditation chants the band is also using authentic Tibetan instruments reinforcing the ambient part of the work, which however remains ritual-like.
+ + + : Phurpa is a very unique experience in the ritual music genre. You directly recognize the collective throughout the buzzing chants. You feel like assisting to a ceremony in the mystic temples of Tibet. It remains a particular sensation for me personally as I ever got the opportunity visiting Tibet and numerous temples where monks were performing similar ceremonies. No doubt about it, this way of singing is absolutely singular and needs an active practice, but I especially enjoy the sharp sound of the Tibetan horns.
– – – : The other side of the coin is that the sound and singing formula of Phurpa is pretty repetitive and suffering from a lack of diversity. I’m especially missing more ‘music’, the main part of the recording being based upon the chants.
Conclusion: Phurpa is an invitation to meditation and an opportunity to get into your inner-self.
Best songs: Untitled.
Since you’re here … … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading Side-Line Magazine than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. Side-Line’s independent journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we want to push the artists we like and who are equally fighting to survive. If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as 5 US$, you can support Side-Line Magazine – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. The donations are safely powered by Paypal.