September 4 is one of those Bandcamp Fridays where the company doesn’t take its normal commission in order for the artists to either make a bit more money or donate it to the cause of their choice. Though well over 1,500 releases flooded by email inbox today, there was one which came to me from a dear friend of the blog, Raffaele Pezzella (owner of the incredible Unexplained Sounds Group, whose compilations never fail to impress.
This one is a second batch of Iranian dark ambient and experimental music composers, featuring such maestros as Xerxes The Dark, Reza Solatipour, Force Ignore and a host of names which are not only new to me, but who have managed to capture my interest rather quickly.
Today, of all days, is a fine one to introduce yourself to a fresh batch of music from Iran’s dark ambient wellspring.
At least for my taste, there’s not much better than hearing extremely deep, cavernous, and at some points, scary, black ambient. No, not dark ambient. This is black and bleak. Morego Dimmer (Xerxes The Dark himself) composes a lot of top-quality material, but I feel like he’s begun to hit the peak of his powers. I can say without hesitation that Iran is the place to watch for this strain of electronic music.
Reza Solapitour is a dark ambient musician based out of Tehran, Iran, discovered by the best ears in experimental music, Raffaele Pezzella of Eighth Tower Records.
The album is booming, eerie and spacious, as though one had the sensation of floating in a cave. Quite a powerful release.
Only a fool would believe we’re not living in a great time for music. The world of pop is banal, and should only be seen as entertainment. Actual music, that which is trying to continue breaking borders, bending (or snapping) rules, is doing quite well.
Iranian-born composer Maryam Sirvan has been featured on the blog before, having her powerful solo album reviewed here, but this is a newer release where she teams up with fellow composer Milad Bagheri and saxophonist Rezo Kiknadze. Few composers of this stripe are able to combine the intellectual rigors of electroacoustic music, especially that of the INA-GRM variety, with the gritty, ghostly feel of 20 Jazz Funk Greats-period Throbbing Gristle.
This is a brilliant work, and I hope to see more composers appearing out the of Caucasus soon.
Bukhara Magazine is one of Iran’s literary treasure stores. The Los Angeles Review of Books interviews its editor, Ali Dehbashi.
Iranian film auteur Abbas Kiarostami, who directed such classics as Taste of Cherry and Close-Up, passed away today in Paris a the age of 76.
The Guardian eulogizes him here.
This looks thoroughly fascinating. Shadow puppeteer Hamid Rahmanian has a new project called “Feathers of Fire,” which is based on the Persian epic, the Shahnameh.
There’s simply not enough information out there to write about either Majid Derakhshani, Mahdieh Mohammadkhani or The Mah Ensemble, but you will enjoy this 17-minute performance. It’s sublime.
Even in Tehran, one can find good-quality alternative music. Here’s Comment Band, one of the better acts in town.
Lloyd Miller should be given a statue for the work he did in developing World Music and ethnic jazz. Here he is discussing working with Iranian music in a jazz context. Brilliant material.