Destinations: Improvised Soundscapes in Iran

The underground scene in Iran is thriving on Soundcloud and other online platforms, with many artists publishing their works, with or without a record label. My intention was to completely avoid the mainstream and search for hidden gems and what I found, after weeks of digging, astonished me.

There are lots of contemporary Iranian artists composing (dark) ambient music, drone, electroacoustic experiments and also a bit of techno and eerie idm. Most of them rely on field recordings and on reinterpretations of traditional Persian folklore or ethnic instruments and they barely use voices. Listen with your eyes closed and let these ambiances haunt you and let you wander and wonder.

The third search result in Google when typing "Iran" is "Censorship in Iran". The Iranian Revolution from 1979 leaded by Ayatollah Khomeini empowered a very strict regime of censorship; all pop music was virtually eradicated from Iran. Many pre-revolution Iranian musicians in the 1970s had to hide thier music once Islamic fundamentalists grabbed control and started burning down record companies and harassing musicians.

This mixtape wouldn't have been possible without the kind help of Vlad Petri (who also made the cover of this mix and brought me music from his latest photo-trip in Iran), Raffaele Pezzella (with his brilliant compilation "Visions of Darkness" focused on Iranian underground) and Cedryk Fermont, with his extensive Syrphe database.

*Mixtape & words by Miron Ghiu / Photo by Vlad Petri.

Tracklist:

  • Anunnaki Signal - Father
  • Alireza Mashayekhi - Panoptikum
  • Elemaun - Xylow
  • Kamran Arashnia - The Field
  • Poo Yar - Buried Alive
  • Bushehr Dances - Track 01
  • Xerxes The Dark- Song of Dust
  • Ata Ebtekar - Micro Tuning
  • Hadi Bastani - Impulse Resonance
  • Tarxun - Follow me (Foamcut-mix)
  • Baaroot - Repetitious 2E'F Ø1 (Kamran Arashnia Remix)
  • Alphaxone - A Dystopia
  • Ata Ebtekar - Miniature Tone
  • Ali Phi - Condition.III
  • Mahdyar - Iran Iraq
  • Idlefon (with Kamyar Behbahani) - Headless

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