Iranian-American composer Dariush Dolat-Shahi’s music occupies a unique and timeless place among the countless albums from the last half-century that mixed acoustic performances with electronic manipulations. Dolat-Shahi stands above his peers as a master of both crafts, able to weave together lush melodies from his tar, a traditional Persian lute, and spacey analog synth lines — which sound like they could have been recorded anytime between the sixties and now — into a complete whole that doesn’t feel stuck in one genre or time period. His 1985 album, Electronic Music, Tar and Sehtar, is the pinnacle of his achievements and easily one of the most interesting world music (is it even fair to call it that?) albums of all time. Electronic Music’s core is composed of sparse tar and sehtar — another variety of Persian lute — pieces upon which Dolat-Shahi heaps bleeps, bloops, and squawks of electronic noise, along withe the odd frog or bird, until the two distinct parts become so intertwined you wonder why the idea of Persian classical music run through a wash of moog noise ever sounded so odd in the first place. Dolat-Shahi has done a remarkable thing by taking the two great outsider sounds of world and experimental electronic music and combining them into a album that is more listenable and engaging than either could have been on their own.
Senni sets an affirmational standard for the way music is constantly overlaid with the cultures, qualities, and lives that participate within it, an ever-more complex economy at this stage of contemporary music production. This affirmation explores the formal mechanics that make the genre work in the first place; yet, perhaps more pertinently, Persona has a deeply oscillating, emotional core that is within and without the study taking place — that odd place of human vitality and sentiment in any scholarly, observational method.
BobbyZamora wrote:If you really love music, trawl Soundcloud and Bandcamp and even Youtube and if the option is available to you, go to local shows and events.
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