TENGGER are a South Korea-based Pan-Asian musical family that creates New Age drone soundscapes with harmonium, voice, analog synths, and toy instruments. The group, composed of couple itta and Marquido, originally went by the moniker “10.” When their son RAAI, who joins them on tour and sometimes on stage, was born in 2012, they changed their band name to TENGGER — Mongolian for “unlimited expanse of sky” — to represent their expanding family. We included their politically charged 2017 album Segye in our guide to the Asian psych label Guruguru Brain.
Now, TENGGER are preparing to release a new album, Spiritual 2. According to the family, the project was created with an ancient Asian philosophy in mind: If you’re looking at something, you should recognize that there is something invisible behind it. For music this horizontal and malleable, these instructions make their own kind of sense.
Today, TENGGER have shared a music video for the album’s lead single, “High,” which meditatively follows mother and son around misty, bucolic mountain vistas. In a statement, the band shared some context:
Our favorite track is Neu!’s “Hallogallo.” We always listen to it on cassette in the car when we drive to Shikoku, Japan. Our son, RAAI always exclaims “Neu!” and starts dancing when the track starts. With “High,” we wanted to express that inspiration in our own musical language. The lyrics are just one short sentence: 얼마나 조그마한가, which basically means: “How small we are, when stood up against the majesty of nature.” We are in deep gratitude of nature.
The location of the video is the area of the Mt. Ishizuchi, near our base in Japan. After we did the first Shikoku Pilgrimage in 2014, we bought an old vintage house in the middle of the pilgrim road and slowly DIY-renovated it. The video shows a Shanshui, or “mountain and water,” landscape. People love the beauty and greatness of nature but still always destroy. We wanted to show nature as still strong and beautiful.
Watch the “High” video below.
Spiritual 2 is out 6/7 via Beyond Beyond Is Beyond. Pre-order it here.