Music Reviews

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Artist: Amir Baghiri
Title: Ghazal
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Vivo records (@)
Rated: *****
Amir Baghiri is an Iranian artist who explores the boundries between world music, electronic music and field recordings in a matter that results very similar to the style of Muslimgauze. After his 2003 "Yalda", Vivo puts out his new album, which turn out to be very percussion-focused overall. Some instruments used are: khaliji drums, persian tumbak, egyptian dumbak, liquid drums, bendirs, azerbaijan frame drum, surdo, mahogany pro djembes, tamborin and persian zarb & dohol drums. rababa, ouds, saz, kamancheh, panjab clay flute, native iranian ney and sipsi stone flute and various chimes, shakers, rainstick and some other forgotten objects. To that you'll have to add additive fm and analog synthesizers, processors & subliminal nature sound programming, groove programming & multidimensional ambient creations. The use of electronics in this album is remarkable becase it is mixed in subtly and yet makes for a fundamental element of the mixture. The balance between the percussive grooves and the digital rhythmical structures is so skillfully achieved that sometimes it's actually hard to tell whether or not it is in and in what percentage. The field recordings come from near eastern desert ambience and nature atmos, all recorded by amir baghiri on a sony DAT recorder in different places around asia & north africa. More technical info (such as software, hardware etc) can be found in the beautifully packaged trifold digipack. Vocals are to be found as well, but mostly as added ear candies or quasi-sampled recursive patterns, rather than lead parts. The middle eastern flavours are strong and intense in this record, you can almost smell it. Overall its grooves are pretty uptempo, which makes it easy to listen to and enjoyable.
Finally the album features some guests, including: Reza Ardalani (addtional zarb and ney), Malek Halime (distant azan, nohe khani and spoken words) and zhale mikhaili (tar, setar, additional spoken vocals as sample foods).

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