by Niyaz


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For those who have grown up with Western pop music and who don't speak Arabic (or Persian or Turkish), the temptation when listening to a Niyaz album is simply to sit back and let the sinuous grooves and "exotic" melodies wash over you in a state of blissful Orientalist incomprehension. But that's always been a good way to miss a significant part of what this band is doing. While the lyrical themes of their first two albums have focused mainly on issues related to Iranians in exile around the world, their third, titled Sumud (Steadfastness) deals with broader issues of cultural diaspora and ethnic minority status. The program draws on Kurdish, Turkish, Afghani, and Palestinian material as well as folk songs from Iran; some of the songs are traditional folk music, while others are settings of secular and mystical poems from the 11th to the 17th centuries. For the most part, the songs are not directly political; instead, they tend to address predictable themes of love and longing, cultural tolerance, suffering as a shared experience, and endurance. But for those with ears to hear, there are subtle messages about the ultimate ineffectuality of borders, the implications of universal experience, and cultural resistance. If you are uninterested in such messages, there is still the option of sitting back and letting Ali's gorgeous voice and the band's tough, dark, powerful grooves carry you away.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/22/2012
Label: Six Degrees
UPC: 0657036118720
catalogNumber: 1187
Rank: 47483

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Niyaz   Primary Artist
Carmen Rizzo   Percussion,Drums,Keyboards,electronics
A.R. Rahman   Vocals
Azam Ali   Percussion,Vocals,Santoor
Loga Ramin Torkian   Guitar,Saz,Viol,Kaman,Rabab,Jumbus
Ulas Özdemir   Saz,Vocals
Alex Bellegarde   Upright Bass
Kamal Sabri   Sarungi
Salar Nader   Tabla
Omer Avci   Percussion
Naser Musa   Vocals,Oud
Habib Meftah Boushehri   Flute,Percussion,Vocals

Technical Credits

Carmen Rizzo   Producer,Engineer
Azam Ali   Producer,Engineer,Liner Notes,Artwork,Artistic Director
Loga Ramin Torkian   Producer,Engineer,Artistic Director
Niyaz   Arranger,Composer,Liner Notes
Ulas Özdemir   Composer
Muharrem Temiz   Composer
Omer Avci   Engineer
Elaine Lafond   Artistic Director
Naser Musa   Composer

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