The Republic of Georgia begs the wayward traveler, down from the Caucasus Mountains, up from the Black Sea, to stop and listen. Torn between European, Russian, and Persian influences, with sounds dancing between tradition and modernity, Georgia feels like a special place, an old place. Some parts are stunningly beautiful, raw, and empowering, while others seem neglected, forsaken; all formed in centuries of brutal conflict and near total isolation. Its rich musical tradition embodies it all.
Around the time we visited, Ensemble Adilei was preparing to venture across the Atlantic to tour in the United States. In a fortuitous collision of interest and opportunity, Different Tune Records was created to produce Adilei’s first full length LP. We couldn’t be happier with the results, and are pleased to share them with the world.
When you drop the needle on the turntable you’ll hear ten voices belonging to young men with old souls. Introduced to this music as children, the members of Adilei have become the reigning experts in Georgian secular songs from the Gurian region, characterized by the use of krimanchuli, a unique yodeling technique that is impossible to forget.
These are songs to accompany farmers, mothers, warriors, weddings, dances, and dinners — songs that set pace for the world around them. In the Western understanding of Georgian traditional music, they’re unique in their ordinariness, not confined to the sacred space of the orthodox church, but echoing through streets and valleys, wrought by the labor and celebration of everyday life.