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Moscow, August 2004. Albert Kuvezin has just checked into a hotel having spent 24 hours on a train from Budapest as the result of having been forcibly deported from Hungary along with the rest of his band. Their passports had been stolen from the dressing room of the gig the previous day. Their plea for help from the Russian Embassy resulted in them being frog-marched to the railway station and sent home. Before he can relax he receives a phone call from his co-singer Radik Tiuliush telling him that he has had enough of the rigours of travelling backwards and forwards from Tuva (a 3-day journey just to get to Moscow before an international flight takes them to start a tour). There are only 2 days to find new passports and a new singer before they are due to begin a US tour. This proves impossible and Albert retreats to Kazyl where he is immediately hassled by mobsters and corrupt government officials. He then crashes his car and ends up in hospital.

Whilst convalescing Albert ponders his band’s future and listens to his record collection. Having spent many years being persecuted under the Soviets for listening to and playing rock’n roll he contemplates the long journey that his love of both Tuvan Folk Music and Western Rock has resulted in. He had toured the world many times playing at some of the great festivals such as Glastonbury, Roskilde, Bloomington, Monterey, Transmusicale, and Sziget. He had played hundreds of club shows and listened to and met some great bands along the way. Bands like his thrash heroes Slayer and folk heroes such as the Chieftains and contemporary artists such as Billy Bragg and many more.

And now Yat-Kha was due to travel to London in October 2004 to record a new album that Albert had been busy writing earlier in the year. As he lay there with music from all around the world blaring out from his newly- acquired PA system Albert decided that he would commit his musical and spiritual journey to tape instead of his new songs. His new album would reflect how music took him from one of the world’s more remote regions to international recognition. Remote, yes, yet central enough to pick up the currents of international music, even if the international music scene was not yet hip to the growling waves coming from Tuva. He would revitalise himself by re- engaging with his loves of country, blues, rock and just all things music. Although he was due to self-produce his new album Albert made a last minute phone call to the legendary world music producer Ben Mandelson who immediately made time to take over production duties. Justin Adams, producer of Tinariwen, joins him on a couple of tracks.

The band began by jamming many of Albert’s favourite tunes and from this came the new album "Re-Covers".

the hard side of life
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