Boomkat Product Review:
The follow-up to Sub Rosa's Persian Electronic Music release, this album of new Iranian music features a host of the country's most renowned musicians tackling works by Alireza Mashayekhi. The outcome of these interpretations was then handed over to electronic musician Ata Ebtekar (better known as one-time Warp recording artist, Sote). The finished product is a testament to the rude health of Iran's avant-garde, a movement pioneered by Mashayekhi himself since he came to prominence around thirty-five years ago. Ebtekar's treatments of performances by The Tehran Contemporary Music Group do tend to retain the acoustic essence of the source, yet the electronic musician is given full license by Mashayekhi himself to dissect the music as he sees fit. During pieces like the dtitle track and 'Pearly Gates' the original instrumentation is morphed and altered in timbral terms but you can still hear the full articulations at work, but more extreme entries impose a far more abstract persona: the noisy short-form outburst 'Aural Blue' transforms what probably started out as percussion into an intensive cascade of bell-like clanging and general aural turmoil, while 'Turquoise Gas On Ice' seems to scoop the more resonant harmonics out of the instruments and set them into an electrified stream of metallic digital leftovers. Ornamentalism presents the listeners with a real challenge, but rewards the listener accordingly. If there is any quibbling to be done here, it might have been nice for the album to have been expanded into a two-disc affair where one of the discs featured the original recordings without treatment. Still, here's hoping Sub Rosa continue to follow-up their focus Iranian experimental music and bring us some more releases like this.
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