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Moods: Featuring Guitar Avant Garde: Free Improvisation Rock: Space Rock Jazz: Jazz-Rock Rock: Instrumental Rock

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Bogdo Ula

In the beginning Bogdo Ula was a duo, Samuli Kristian (guitar) and Ivan Horder (drums). After spending years in a garage just improvising and recording everything, they decided to take the next step and self-released their first album From Distance to You (2008). Years of studying recording techniques and the inner life of old tube amplifiers helped them to do everything by themselves – recording, mixing, mastering. This DIY approach has stayed to present day and it reflects Bogdo Ula’s “absolutely free” approach for playing.

As a duo Bogdo Ula self-released three albums before the bass player Jean Ruin joined Bogdo Ula in the summer 2010. This was a big step forward. As a phenomenal bass player and a big fan of Zappa, Jean Ruin adopted Bogdo Ula’s “free” approach right away and gave Bogdo Ula a new direction. As a trio they have self-released two albums. The third trio album Crash Canis Majoris is out in autumn 2012.

Bogdo Ula focuses on free improvisation. Every song is a musical travel through time, sculpting in time or out of time. Inspired by John Coltrane, who would give his band only two notes as the basis for a new tune, Bogdo Ula tries to make music from a minimalistic starting point. However, their music is not minimalistic. It is complex and full of meaning and emotion. Frank Zappa's idea of instant compositions on his album Shut Up 'n' Play Yer Guitar has also encouraged Bogdo Ula to go this way. To let the music flow, to reach a total freedom of expression. And as a special reward, to communicate with one who wants to listen.

In spite of the fact that Bogdo Ula’s music is not mainstream, it is not the purpose of the players to make “difficult” music. This is just the kind of music they enjoy playing, and hopefully this enjoyment reaches the potential listener too. Kristian's rock-style guitar tones together with Horder's drums and Ruin's bass create a unique style, something different from free jazz or psychedelic rock, although reflecting the tradition. The musical idea may grow from a melody line, a scale or a guitar riff to a furious improvisation. Mystical soundscapes, modal scales and angular rhythms are the characteristics of the music of Bogdo Ula.

Bogdo Ula is a mountain near the city of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. For this band, Bogdo Ula is a state of mind, a place to go in the minds of the players. Where does the music come from? From inside or from outside? The answer is irrelevant. Music is a place you can go to, where ever you are.