RSS feed RSS Twitter Twitter Facebook Facebook 15 Questions 15 Questions

CD Feature/ Roshi feat. Pars Radio: "And Stars"

img  Tobias
It’s easy paying lip service to the creed of cross-cultural communication. But where are the artists and record companies who are truly daring enough to invest into this goal with their creative energies, their time and their money, extending beyond strewn-in Sitar-samples, Oriental chants and field recordings culled from their last holiday? You can save yourself the troubles of coming up with an answer: Here’s one.

Growing up in between different worlds must have caused some hardships for Roshi Nasehi, daughter to Iranian parents in Wales. But it just as much seems to have sparked the need to cope with them in an artistic way deep within her. “And Stars” is the result of her fascination for the traditional tunes her parents would play to her as a little girl, a childhood growing up to renowned songwriters (Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan) and the pleasures derived from discovering Progressive Rock, Avant Jazz and sophisticated Pop.

It is also the preliminary culmination of a personal quest of finding her own space. “And Stars”, a short four track EP no doubt preparing for a full-length in the future, features Iranian classics and Roshi’s own songs, delicately clad in subtle, psychoactive electronic atmospheres and lamentous Cello strokes. A collaboration with “one man sonic explorer” Gagarin, a former sidekick to John Cale and Pere Ubu, it doesn’t simply fuse the two cultures she grew up in, but places them side by side in a search for tangents, answers, beauty.

The Iranian contributions are most striking at first, not least because of their strong sensual allure. A song like “Dohktar e Boyerhmadi (The Girl from Boyerahmadi)” demonstrates how much these pieces are developed from melody, with the accompanying Piano merely adding rhythmical accentuation and an emotional flow. “Rachid Khan”, too, sounds sweet and sorrowful at the same time, circling in a loop of repeated harmonies and eery string palpatations.

On the five-minute dreamscape “She paces”, Roshi then equals the seductive qualities of the traditionals with her own script. The track opens with her voice hovering above a minimal arrangement of hectically clattering drum machine, steady bass pulses and a bleepy melody. A punctuated Organ adds to the bizarre Swing but instead of heading for a catchy culmination, the tune disassembles into a haunting Rhodes pattern, with softly howling drones, unreal noises, opaque radio transmissions and hushed Cello adornments slowing down the hands of the clock to a sleepy metrum.

While Roshi’s juxtapositions do not eliminate the friction areas between her material, they open up a doorway into new interpretations and appreciations. Instead of focussing on genre, style or geographic origin, she seems to say, wouldn’t it make more sense to focus on the underlying emotions of a piece instead and look for otherwhise invisible links?

“And Stars” makes this approach sound extremely convincing. And it certainly helps that she’s not waiting for others to come up with the answers, but paying a superb service to the creed of cross-cultural communication with her very own lips.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Roshi
Homepage: Geo Records

Related articles

Son of Rose: Documenting Tactile Times
There's a nice paradox behind ...
CD Feature/ Sharam: "Get Wild"
One half of the hallowed ...
CD Feature/ Shahrokh: "Dripping Point"
Sade meets 70s chill-disco: A ...
CD Feature/ Woven Hand: "Ten Stones"
Electrifying codas: If you love ...
Chillumination: The Downbeat Revolution is coming Home
Even though the downbeat boom ...
Random Stabbings 37
October's round of interesting records, ...
Susanna and the Magical Orchestra: Flower of Evil bodes Well
Norwegian alternative Folk minstrel Susanna ...
CD Feature/ Ubyk: "Matryoshka"
Final decisions and famous last ...
CD Feature/ V.A.: "Kubla Khan"
Enlightening juxtapositions: A poem as ...
CD Feature/ :papercutz: "Ultravioleta Remixes"
Similar to the experimental excursions ...
Musical Cities of the World: Beijing
The Rock age may just ...
A Voice from Far Away
Making the empty highways her ...
CD Feature/ Kiss the Anus of a Black Cat: "The Nebulous Dreams"
Tales of horror and stories ...
Review/ Waylander: "Honour Amongst Chaos"
A celebration: Pure folk enchantment ...
LP Feature/ Andrew Liles & Fovea Hex: "Gone Every Evening"
Everything is bigger: Incomprehensible loops ...
Issa Bagayogo: Mali Koura blends Electronica with African Roots
Mali-born Issa Bagayogo is preparing ...
CD Feature/ V.A.: "The Sound Vol. 2 & 3"
The series has picked up ...

Partner sites