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Various Artists

Jirga (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Review by Gary Hill

This soundtrack is clearly not actually progressive rock. I would argue that it is progressive music, though. There is a lot of electronic texture, not far removed from a lot of electronic acts who are often included under prog. Add in some world music, and you have the basic concept here. This is actually quite an intriguing set of music. I have not seen the film, but can enjoy it without that connection.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Arrival
Atmospheric keyboard elements are on display as some acoustic instrumentation weaves melody.
Walk to Hotel
There is a mellow, world music vibe to this. It has a dramatic sense of foreboding in some ways, though. The overlain texture brings something special to it, too.
Hotel Money Mystery
Trippy atmospherics mix with world music as this cut creates its textures. It's a pretty piece that seems a bit more developed than the previous two in some ways.
Safar Sandara - Sher Alam Miskeen Ustad
World music singing and a hand drumming create the soundscape here.
Meeting with the Colonel
While this is short and mellow, it's also very dramatic.
Hotel at Night
This almost feels like a continuation of the previous piece.
Hotel to Lakes
Synthesizer textures create some beauty and majesty on this number. World music brings a grounding element.
Road to Kandahar
The electronics on this call to mind a mellow Synergy of some of the electronic edge of Alan Parsons.
Dand Sandara - Sher Alam Miskeen Ustad
This is much like the earlier cut featuring the same person. This time there is some cowbell, though. It ends with a bit of jocularity.
Roadblock
Dramatic synthesis is merged with world music sound on this cut. This is one of the longer pieces here, and the world music instrumentation really gets energized further down the road.
Lost in the Desert
More dramatic and pretty sounds are on display here. This is mellow and so cool. It is mostly electronic, but there is some world music in the mix at times. The sedate, electronic section later really has some emotion packed into its beauty.
Bonding at the Lakes - Sher Alam Miskeen Ustad & Sam Smith
There is world music singing along with instrumentation and more on this track.
Execution
Largely electronic, this piece is dramatic, mellow and pretty.
Confession
Electronics bring this into being and hold it for the duration. It's another evocative piece of music.
Walk to Ruin
Starting with electronics, more world music creeps in as this drifts forward.    
Lakes Solo - Sam Smith
Acoustic guitar is the concept here.
Cave Montage
World music mixes with the world of electronic sounds on this pretty piece. It's complex and dramatic.
Walk to Village
Some classical textures are on hand here, along with electronic ones. This is mellow, but also quite dramatic and powerful.
Mike Rolls Over
This is a short bit of electronic texture. It's quite mellow and mysterious.   
Da Oor Sandara - Sher Alam Miskeen Ustad
World music singing is the concept here.
Widow
Electronic and also quite symphonic, this is evocative and powerful music.
Jirga to Sacrifice
With plenty of world music in the mix, this is evocative, mellow and very pretty.
Going Home
There is a soaring kind of hopeful vibe to this. It's a great combination of the electronic and world sounds.
Adhan - Mu'a??in
This is a world based thing that feels like found sound.
Midnight with Moroder (Bonus Jirga Pitch Track)
This is a cool electronic groove that works really well.
 
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