Aimless. No direction; no destination. That was the feeling in my gut while prowling the streets of Gulou last Saturday night. It had been a long day chalk full of some saddening goodbyes as well as a few welcoming acquaintances, as is usually the case here in Beijing. Out of ideas, I decided to sneak a peek at Temple Bar, one of the few music venues in town I haven’t had the opportunity to check out yet. Lucky for me, Jurat T.T was there releasing his album Sans Famille.
I only was able to catch the tail end of Jurat T.T’s set but what immediately caught my attention was the Uyghur language. Coming from Xinjiang, Jurat sings in his native language, which at least to my ears, has more in common with Russian and other western Asian countries than with Mandarin. And let me tell you – there’s history in that voice – lead singer and guitarist Jurat has a deep brawny voice that clearly has been through countless years of wear and tear. It fits their classic rock sound very well, a sound that brought back memories of tuning in to Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Nirvana, and Metallica, and other staple bands of the nineties. Nostalgic not only in style, lyrically the songs echo this reflective nature as well, and watching him sing and bear his soul, well it was heartening. As foreign and unique as Jurat’s story and music may be, there’s a lot there we can all relate to. Check out the title track from their album – “Sans Famille” which is available now and be sure to check out the great write-up by the folks over at beijingdaze.com as well.