Boomkat Product Review:
Dictaphone's Oliver Doerell breaks bread with Iranian percussionist Jawad Salkhordeh, finding a creative meeting point between Eastern and Western classical traditions, folding in elements of jazz and electro-acoustic experimentation.
Born in Northern Iran to an artistic family (his brother is a flute player and his sisters work in theater, painting and calligraphy), Salkhordeh began training on the Tombak - a goblet drum that's considered the main percussion instrument in Persian music - when he was just 15 years old. Now based in Berlin, Salkhordeh has collaborated with musicians from across the globe, and teaches Tombak and Daf when he's not on the road or recording. On "سایه" (say), he creates an effortlessly engaging dialog with Doerell, who sounds completely in his element weaving together cinematic backdrops to Salkhordeh's evocative Persian soundscapes.
Doerell's developed an expertise processing instruments in the past - as a part of Dictaphone and SWOD - and here he sounds laid back and comfortable. That's not to say the work isn't complex, far from it in fact, but it never sounds labored. The two musicians have a gentle back-and-forth on the lazily-paced 'Worud', infusing slow jazz atmospheres, while 'Scratch 19' builds a faded, uneven rhythm section for delicate string sounds. On 'Seh', Salkhordeh's impressive percussion is pushed to the fore, as Doerell adds subtle dub effects, spiking the mix with just enough textural experimentation.
Barely audible vocals underpin hand drum pats on '1979', creating a sound that the duo say is nostalgic for a place that never existed, while on the title track Doerell is let loose on percussion, meeting Salkhordeh with electronic rattles and claps.