Thursday, December 17, 2020

Анж Ёлганя - "Тон ды мон" (Erzyan pop/rock)

As you know, I'm constantly looking for any obscure music in the languages of Finno-Ugric minorities of Russia - even it's just pop, it often feels much more "underground" than many metal releases. You also know that I have a specific interest in the music of Mordovia, as I live not so far from there, and almost certainly have at least some Erzyan ancestry.

So, not long ago I found this nice pop/rock with lyrics in Erzyan language (the title means "You & Me") by a singer whose stage name I never heard before. After some research, I found out that it was performed by no one else than Ezhevika, who's one of the few musicians I still have a close contact with, yet I don't remember her ever mentioning this project. Apparently she has recorded a whole album of Erzyan songs sometime in the 2000s, but it's extremely hard to find any info about it. Some of her early songs were posted here, but they were uploaded to an audio hosting service that's dead for at least 5 years, and I coudn't find those songs anywhere else (apart from one song called "Kargon' Ki" / "Milky Way") - so that album definitely takes the cake for being one of the hardest to find releases on my wishlist.

Well, let's appreciate what we have, and this song is quite good. While it's not as original in terms of sound as Ezhevika's later folk recordings, she surely can sing well, and judging from her photo I used for the cover (it was taken around the same time this song was recorded), she always had an awesome figure. That ethnic-themed miniskirt looks nice on her, and she always was saying that she loves her long Erzyan legs :) Some people compare her to Natalia Vodianova (who's from my city and also has some Erzyan roots), and she definitely could do a model/actress career, but preferred music and culture/language activism (which, of course, is a noble choice). She's still doing quite beautiful amateur photo shoots in varied styles (including ethno style):

I'd post much more, but let's stop here. And if you're interested what she's doing now - well, this year she, like many other musicians, has lost a lot of her income from live performances due to the coronavirus lockdowns, but things got better by now. There were plans to release an acoustic album under the name "quarantine", but it isn't out yet. Earlier this year, she released a collaborative single "Adai-Adai" with some Malaysian musician, which is quite different from the rest of her works, with its sound based in oriental folk music (interestingly, it reminds me of "Hizbollah" by Ministry, and some tracks off "Erotic Terrorism" by Fun-Da-Mental).

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