Truth be told, it’s a bit unfair to try to distil such a crazily diverse musical time into a tasty 30-minute nibble, but consider it as just a starter in a magnificent meal of middle-eastern psychedelic folk and garage (excuse the embarrassing-dad metaphors, I’ve never been great at mixing Sunday-morning hangovers and creative writing). Anyway here we go!
1.Erkin Koray- Hayat bir Tesseli – Erkin Koray 2 (Dogan)
Celebrated as the “Jimi Hendrix of Turkey”, Erkin’s reputation as one of the first to embrace electric guitar and modern amplification/ effects has earned him the status of Turkish pysch God. And he’s got some pretty fucking cool facial hair.
2. Mehrpouya – Soul Raga – Pomegranates (Finders Keepers)
Found on yet another ace compilation from the guys at Finders Keepers, this funky psychedelic jam is a gem. Iran is a country famous for its rich and diverse culture marked by revolution, exile and diaspora. The 60s and 70s were for Iran, as for many other countries, a period of political and cultural upheaval and change, reflected in the music of that time. It is impossible not to the note the bombs, isolation, lies and hardship suffered by the Iranian people over the last few decades and hope that they will be remembered and reached out to, rather than ignored as the product of successive years of brutal rule.
3. Ersen – Gunese Don Cicegim – Ersen (Finders Keepers)
Funky beat-driven fuzz freak-out from one of the most versatile and schizophrenic musicians to come out of Andalou Pop.
4. Shabah – I Need Somebody to Love – Raks Raks Raks (Raks Records)
Ideal for that late-morning pyjama mope. A great example of Western composition under the spell of Iranian time signatures and subtle emotion.
5. Penahi – Dance Music – Raks Raks Raks (Raks Records)
Another great track from the compilation “27 Golden Garage Pysch Nuggets from the Iranian 60s Scene” out on Raks Records. Perfect for a kitchen boogie.
6. Zia – Kofriam – Pomegranates (Finders Keepers)
I can’t resist anything with a good ole bit of rhythmic group clapping or some dance/trance inducing beats, so this had to go on.
7. Kouroush Yaghamaei – Gole Yakh – Where are you from? (Now Again Records)
Practically a child prodigy on the Santour (a traditional Iranian string-percussive instrument), Koroush Yaghamaei began to play the guitar when he was 15 and was one of the first musicians to introduce rock to Iran. Gole Yakh was his first single and breakthrough hit, a love song written by his friend, and famous poet, Mahdi Akhavan Langeroudi. However it wasn’t all smooth running, Yaghamaei’s voice was banned for 17 years after the Iranian Revolution in 1979, and his picture was only allowed to published in his albums 24 years after.