Review | Songlines


Rating: ★★★★★

View album and artist details

Album and Artist Details


Hooshyar Khayam & Bamdad Afshar




Like an intoxicated dream, the sounds of provincial Iran and the wider world warp and meld into a feverish blurring of the distinctions between time and place. This project, of composer Hooshyar Khayam and electronic artist Bamdad Afshar, aims to bridge the gap between the traditional sounds of Baluchestan – in south-eastern Iran – and ‘modern’ audiences. It does so deftly and stunningly, presenting a relatively unexplored sound-world in a series of musical tableaux that focus on Gwati: the healing music of this region.

Khayam and Afshar draw from a bewildering array of sound sources in the creation of this album. The foundations comprise a number of original recordings of singers and instrumentalists from Baluchestan, bound together with a mortar of string quartet, piano and electronic renditions of traditional Baluchi rhythms. The results are heady and somewhat schizophrenic; you never know what is coming next, yet find yourself surrendering to the satisfyingly jarring sounds. At times it is hard to identify what you are listening to: is that a flock of birds or some kind of instrumental representation of one? Simultaneously deep-rooted and piercingly contemporary, this hypnotic and artful presentation does exactly what it set out to do.

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