There, Pouya Ehsaei’s debut album, processes samples of traditional Iranian music to reveal the rage hidden beneath its melancholia.
Pouya Ehsaei is an Iranian sound artist currently residing in the UK.
Edition of 200 copies
Mastered by Jacques Beloeil
While every instrumental album is open to interpretation,
some beg to be discussed. Pouya Ehsaei’s There is one
of them. This ambitious work from the Iranian sound artist
introduces Iranian music samples, then pulverises them
with processing and electronics. If this work arose from out-
side the nation, it might be questioned, but its authenticity
is never in doubt. If anything, the music comes across as
inside journalism from a native observer.
The samples are heard in plinks and plonks, typically at the
beginning of tracks, dissipating like individual droplets in a
downpour. But sub-melodies hide throughout the work, in-
habiting the background like serfs in the presence of a king.
At times, all that can be heard is their low-level hum, a choral
echo, a repressed populace, a buried pride. Ahmad Shamliu’s
prison poems come across as radio chatter, sound and fury,
dropped transmissions whose tone bears the weight of their
visceral power. And over it all, like a mist of regret, a fog of
indecision, a cloud of unknowing, an electronic shroud blocks
out the light, whitewashes the history, substitutes itself for
the truth; and nothing stands in its way.
Review by Richard Allen at A Closer Listen