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Niyaz
     

Niyaz

5.0 2
by Niyaz
 
The debut from Niyaz unveils something of a Persian fusion supergroup. Azam Ali, the arresting, singing half of the duo Vas, joins Ramin Loga Torkian, mainman of Axiom of Choice; the pair are abetted by programmer Carmen Rizzo. They strike a near-perfect balance between their respective groups. The romantic world

Overview

The debut from Niyaz unveils something of a Persian fusion supergroup. Azam Ali, the arresting, singing half of the duo Vas, joins Ramin Loga Torkian, mainman of Axiom of Choice; the pair are abetted by programmer Carmen Rizzo. They strike a near-perfect balance between their respective groups. The romantic world of Vas is given a gritty, urban reinterpretation, while Axiom of Choice's jazzy take on Persian classical tradition is updated with street beats and the more accessible voice of Azam Ali (Axiom's distinctive vocalist, Mamak Khadem, tilts a little more toward Eastern ululuations). The result is as stage-managed as a Sarah Brightman or Dead Can Dance album, with dramatic curtains of sound and menacing clicks and blips. There are moments of liveliness that belie the processed atmosphere, such as Ali's ghazal "Allahi Allah" and the sprightly cimbalom and guitar of Torkian. While Rizzo's patterns and percussions invoke all matter of Eastern bells, drums, and rattles, the aim seems to be toward creating a kind of Persian chill-out music, when in fact, the dark, lugubrious tracks are much more demanding. This isn't the kind of music that fades into the background -- instead, it transforms the space around it, working a powerful, mystical magic.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Rick Anderson
Niyaz is something of a miniature electro-worldbeat supergroup. Consisting of singer Azam Ali (of Vas), multi-instrumentalist Loga Ramin Torkian (of Axiom of Choice), and producer
emix artist Carmen Rizzo, the trio has a sound that centers on Ali's ethereal vocals and incorporates musical elements from Iran, Pakistan, India, Western Europe, the U.S., Turkey, and many other regions. Three of the songs on the band's eponymous debut album are based on the writings of the acclaimed Sufi mystic poet Jalaluddin Rumi; another is a setting of an Urdu poem by Sauda. But these ancient traditions are given settings that could have been created at no time but the present -- while traditional instruments are used liberally throughout, everything is undergirded with up to the minute breakbeats, electric guitars, and synthesizers. The resulting sound isn't slick, but it's definitely complex and frequently highly danceable. Highlights include the bhangra-flavored "Allahi Allah" (on which Ali's singing is especially beautiful), the dark and funky "Golzar," and the slowly simmering "Dunya." One or two other tracks (notably a rather slight instrumental titled "Arezou") fail to match the intense beauty of this album's best moments, but then, this is the first release by Niyaz -- the trio's next one should be even better.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/19/2005
Label:
Six Degrees
UPC:
0657036111028
catalogNumber:
361110
Rank:
75563

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Niyaz   Primary Artist
Tony Levin   Bass Guitar
Jamie Muhoberac   Synthesizer,Musician,Guest Appearance
Carmen Rizzo   Synthesizer,Drums,Keyboards,Group Member
Arach Khalatbari   Voices,Darbouka,Daff,Tombak,Musician,Doira,Guest Appearance
Azam Ali   Vocals,Voices,Hammered Dulcimer,Zills,Riqq,Frame Drum,Group Member
Satnam Ramgotra   Tabla,Musician,Guest Appearance
Loga Ramin Torkian   Guitar,Saz,Electric Guitar,Viol,Rabab,Group Member,Help
Arash Khalatbari   Vocals,Tombak

Technical Credits

Carmen Rizzo   Arranger,Programming,Producer,Engineer,Remixing
Azam Ali   Arranger,Composer,Producer,translation
Rumi   Poetry
Loga Ramin Torkian   Arranger,Producer,Engineer
Niyaz   Audio Production

Customer Reviews

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Niyaz 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is simply one of the best albums ever recorded. If you're looking for something different, then this is the album for you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago