Music Reviews

Artist: Ya Tosiba
Title: Mollah The Machine
Format: Download + iBook
Label: Pingipung/Hafenschlamm (@)
Rated: *****
Even though their first single "Mad Barber" dates back to 2012, it's the first time I hear something from this bizarre collaboration between Finnish brilliant producer Mesak, one of the pioneers of Scandinavian Swkee music and head of Harmonia label, and Azeri singer Zuzu Zakaria, and above all it's the very first time I hear an Azeri song and I have to say I cannot imagine it could so harmonious and somehow languid to my ears. Mesak's awesome chiptunes and amazing funky basslines and the alternation of tangy and delicate vocals by Zuzu, which could surmise a strange hybrid between Meira Asher-like rugged style and Bollywood singers, have a good chemistry and Zuzu's lyrics has a really interesting background as she found them during her in-depth studies at Oslo University about the history and evolution of Meykhana, a traditional improvised form of rhythmical folk vocals from Azerbaijan that many ones have compared to hip hop and rap battles - check outs some of them on Internet and you'll find some incredible and really funny sketches -, whose social criticism (simalarly to rap and hip-hop roots) was so effective that it was banned till Soviet Union's downfall in 1991 and it's not so casual that "Molla", the first song of this nice release, quotes Aliagha Vahid, an Azeri poet whose ghazal rhymes is quite similar to contmporary Meykhana: Mesak fittedly made a risingly compelling dubby wrapping on Vahid's rant against the hypocrisy of the religious leaders in the 1940s when those words were written down, while the tilt-rotor-like disco movement for "Masin" (Azeri for "machine") slips on words by Agaselim Childag in the 80ies about the rising spread of cars in the streets of Baku.

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