Persian Electronic Music: Yesterday and Today, 1966-2006

By SUSANNA BOLLE  |  December 31, 2007
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First things first: this is not, as its title might lead you to believe, a compilation of Iranian electronic music by a variety of artists. Rather, it is a collection of works by two leading figures in Iranian electronic music, Alireza Mashayekhi and Ata Ebtekar. And it is a fascinating listen, featuring works that mix traditional Persian musical forms with analog and digital synthesis, tape manipulation, and other techniques of avant-garde composition. The two-disc set was compiled by Ebtekar, who has also released abrasive, yet party-ready electronics under the pseudonym Sote, and who is probably the best-known contemporary Iranian electronic musician. But although Ebtekar delivers some inspiringly tweaked, digital-meets-traditional compositions, including a breathtakingly beautiful piece called “Miniature Tone,” the star is the older Mashayekhi. One of the pioneers of modern composition in Iran, Mashayekhi has traversed a variety of styles over his long career. This collection captures some of the breadth of his activity with pieces ranging from the sublime, serpentine structures of “Mithra,” from 1982, to the dystopic clang and clatter of “Panoptikum 70A” from 1970.
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  Topics: CD Reviews , Entertainment, Music, Electronic Music
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