The cover art for Trips #2 Vietnam. Photo courtesy of Red Axes
Two Israeli music producers are releasing an EP inspired by and featuring traditional Vietnamese music.
Trips #2 Vietnam, the latest project from Red Axes will be released on Friday by Berlin-based independent record label !K7 Records.
The music on the record was produced during Red Axes’ (aka Niv Arzi and Dori Sadovnik) recent trip to Việt Nam to perform at the third edition of Epizode festival in Phú Quốc and a night at Savage in Hà Nội.
Consisting of four tracks each recorded with traditional musicians and music students in different parts of the country, the songs combine the duo’s unique mix of synths, guitars and genres with beloved Vietnamese songs and instruments, such as the đàn tam thập lục (a 36-string instrument) and the t'rưng (bamboo xylophone used by ethnic minorities in the Central Highlands).
The opening song Ho Chi Minh was recorded with students of the HCM City Conservatory of Music playing traditional instruments and singing a remix of Bèo Dạt Mây Trôi (Drifting Duckweed, Floating Clouds), interspersed with sounds of one of the cities many bustling markets.
Hanoi features dreamy vocals reminiscent of the singing used in spiritual lên đồng performances and jungle sounds, performed with the Viet Rice Band.
Phu Quoc is more of a party track, with disorienting synths taking the track up and down. It was recently played by legendary Bosnian house DJ Solomun at a festival in France.
The EP ends with Hue Giao, which wraps a shimmering melody in layers of various wind instruments. It was performed with students from the Huế Academy of Music.
In addition to recording Trips #2 Vietnam, Red Axes also offered music production workshops for students at the various music schools and produced a short video on the trip. VNS