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Mehran

Angels of Persepolis

Review by Gary Hill

I guess the best description for this would be “world music.” It combines flamenco guitar sounds with other styles into a tapestry that is compelling and beautiful. There is jazz and classical here, but there is also space rock at times. The music never becomes redundant, despite the fact that is an instrumental album (other than some spoken vocals on the last track and incidental sound bites here and there). It is an intriguing disc that I like a lot.


This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Pasargad (Rumba)

Ambient tones lead off here. A sound bite from Winston Churchill comes over the top. Then the cut shifts out into a powerful jam that’s part jazz, but mostly world music, an Eastern tinged flamenco. This is quite tasty and quite cool.

The Silent Garden of Divinity (Sevillana)
This is a mellower piece of music that is quite pretty. It feels very organic.
Korean Soup (Bossa)
This is a very jazz-like track. At first, it is quite a gentle piece of music, but is still energized. In fact, as this grows it becomes the most compelling and powerful piece of music we’ve heard thus far. There is a definite Spanish texture here, along with other sounds. It’s quite beautiful. 
Angels of Persepolis (Prelude)
As this begins, it could fit into the mellower portions of a space rock album. The classical musical elements that rise up to carry it could fit on a progressive rock disc from a number of groups. This is quite intricate and beautiful. 
Ahriman (Buleria)
Space rock styled sounds lead this off. Then percussion joins, rather tentatively as the sounds of space wind permeate. The drums take over for a time and then we’re moved into a flamenco section that is quite powerful. At times this reminds me a bit of something from Steve Howe. At other points I hear Al Di Meola. Yet, neither of those comparisons fit completely. The cut gets quite powerful and involved as it continues. It is one of my favorites on the set. 
Mind's Eye (Minera)
With whispering and children’s laughter mixed with other ambient elements opening the cut, this comes in rather strange. As the guitar takes over, it becomes more pure flamenco in nature. There’s a good chunk of classical music in this cut and it’s slow moving an intricate. 
The Oblong Box (Fandangos)
There is more of a jazz flavor to this and the horn adds a Miles Davis Sketches of Spain element. It’s a cool piece of music that’s a bit of a change while still holding the disc together. 
The Little Song of Hope (Bolero)
The first half of this feels like traditional flamenco music, but percussion lends a jazz element. Later, though, we get some other instrumentation added to the mix that makes it feel like something you might hear in a French café. 
Yare Dabestani (Jaleo)
There is a gentle and pretty melodic nature to this that has some of that French café sound, merged with classical music. The percussion gets quite involved later. There’s a killer flamenco flourish at the end. 
Rooftop Poem (excerpt)
I’d consider this to be space rock, minus the rock. Ambient elements and sound effects serve as the backdrop as a woman speaks in another language. At times, she sounds like she’s crying. This is weird, but also cool.
 
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