Amir Baghiri "Yalda" Vivo 007CD 2003 (67:45)

Daygan (5:53)
Ruhe Tariky (2:57)
Yalda (10:15)
Illanout (5:40)
Ice, Fire and Bone (7:45)
Cross-Dressing (3:35)
Azar (7:17)
Simourgh (6:31)
Hidden Psalm (7:26)
Languages of Animals (10:26)

Amir Baghiri has been composing music since his university days in the early '80s.  More recently he is based in Germany where he produces solo, collaborative and commercial work in his Bluebox studio.  Previous discs have been contained within the borders of his native Iran or been released by Spanish and Italian labels but "Yalda" is his debut for Poland's Vivo.  From the title, a winter solstice celebration meaning "birth", to the arid landscape imagery of the ecopack's artwork, to the dedication to 9th-10th Century A.D. Iranian physician-cum-renaissance man Zakariya Razi, to the nearly ridiculous list of ethnic instruments used, "Yalda" is steeped in ancient Persian culture.  Baghiri conjures an immersive sound world melding percussion and programming with true Asian and North African ambience collected in person on DAT.  The opening tracks immediately set the scene:  trance inducing poly-rhythmic drumming, a backdrop of simmering electronics and atmospheres, an enigmatic animal howl, etc.  Sand is practically spilling out of the speakers.  Then the rhythm dies down and the dark ambient drifts, drones and dripping water become the foreground.  And so it goes for 68 minutes, fluctuating through these aggressive and sublime moments.  In some tracks, such as "Ice, Fire and Bone" and "Hidden Psalm" the percussion is content to gently percolate while in others, such as "Cross-Dressing", it rolls in like an invading army and reaches a fever pitch.  I can't offer much of an informed opinion on the authenticity of it all, but to these Western ears it's all wonderful - somewhere between Steve Roach and Muslimgauze.  Recommended to fans of both and the like ...

Amir Baghiri at Vivo
Amir Baghiri discography

Where did I get this cd? - promo via Vivo.

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