Boomkat Product Review:
Completely head-warping Persian progressive dub nuggets from LA's Maral. Where else are you gonna find Lee "Scratch" Perry, Crass's Penny Rimbaud, oversaturated beats and Iranian classical and folk samples mashed into a fuzz of echo and tape hiss?
Few genres have been as rinsed, but Maral's "Push" arrives to remind us that innovation is still possible within dub's expansive parameters. The LA DJ and producer impressed with last year's bizarre and brilliant "Mahur Club", but truly centers her own dynamic universe on "Push", finding the psychedelic sweet spot between trip-hop, dub, club music and Iranian folk and classical styles.
From the opening blast of 'Kerman Wobble' - all echoing Iranian vocals and lo-bitrate beatbox hits that sound as if they're about to snap whatever tape spool they're cycling on - it's clear that Maral is wielding her fusion with intent. The fingerprints of dub are everywhere, as vocals get trapped in delay vortexes and rhythms are fired thru disintegrated FX chains. When Lee "Scratch" Perry shows up on 'Protect U', it doesn't feel like just another feature, it feels like a blessing from one generation to another.
You should know by now that we're into sonic world building here, and with a collection of samples, loops and FX, Maral has built a four-dimensional soundscape we never want to leave. It's the connecting thread between Tricky, Sote, DJ Spooky, Demdike Stare and DJ Rupture and like-minded contemporaries Thoom, 8ULENTINA and Lara Sarkissian. "Push" is an astonishing debut and one of the stand-out albums of the year, miss at your peril.