Achai, the Tuvan word for father, describes a deep paternal participation in the upbringing and growth of a new generation. It is also a fitting title for Alash’s new album to honor Kongar-ool Ondar, who served not only as a musical father for the ensemble, but also for an entire generation of Tuvan musicians. As Ondar shared memory and tradition, so too does Alash with spirited performances and forward-thinking collaborations. In the group’s first studio album for Smithsonian Folkways, Achai beautifully illustrates the adaptability of Tuvan music—organically created and deeply rooted, yet still interconnected with the sound world of the 21st century. Featuring master beatboxer Shodekeh, alongside time-honored Tuvan throat-singing styles, the album demonstrates how members of Alash have dedicated their lives to performing, preserving, developing, and growing the Tuvan tradition. They are worthy bearers of the culture of their fathers and sons. 57 minutes, 24-page booklet.