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‘Tay Ho’ is an entrancing mix of techno & traditional “ca tru” singing

Dustee & Monotape integrate Vietnamese folklore in a fittingly modern manner for their third collab

  • Amira Waworuntu
  • 9 February 2023
‘Tay Ho’ is an entrancing mix of techno & traditional “ca tru” singing

Continuing to exhibit their knack for collaboration, Vietnamese producers Dustee and Monotape have released the single ‘Tay Ho’ via Dusted Recordings on January 27.

The track comes in a Radio Edit and Extended Version format, both highlighting the mesmerizingly pounding basslines and meticulously polished synth sounds we all know and love from the duo’s love for melodic techno.

One feature that stands out is the soulful vocals of Kieu Anh, who sings out a “ca tru” song titled ‘Tay Ho Hoai Co’ which is then delicately sampled using vocal chop effects and blends immaculately with the duo’s dancefloor-ready composition.

The original song sampled, ‘Tay Ho Hoai Co’, was written by Nguyen Cong Tru who has written almost 100 “ca tru” songs.

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Dustee previously introduced the idea of integrating Vietnamese traditional music into electronic music back in 2018, inspired by the album ‘Duong Xa Van Dam by veteran Vietnamese songwriter, Quoc Trung.

After diving into the sounds of melodic techno and doing his own research on the beauty of “ca tru” singing, Monotape made the connection. The duo then got to work and ‘Tay Ho’ was born.

The term “ca tru” literally translates to “tally card songs”, also referred as "hat co dau" or "hat a dao" — a traditional Vietnamese genre of musical storytelling that dates back to the 15th century.

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The genre itself went through a tumultuous journey, twisted from a ceremonial singing style to considered a form of hedonistic entertainment which caused it to be banned after the August Revolution. It has since been revived and considered a technical art form of traditional music.

This third sonic collaboration between Dustee and Monotape aims to motivate the youth of Vietnam to further rediscover and appreciate their traditional culture’s oftentimes overlooked beauty.

Listen to the Radio Edit and Extended Version of Dustee & Monotape ‘Tay Ho' below.

Amira Waworuntu is Mixmag Asia’s Managing Editor, follow her on Instagram.

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