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Various Artists

Tisheh o Risheh

(Pharaway; US: 29 Jan 2013; UK: 18 Feb 2013)

Pharaway Sounds continues to do good work with another compilation of Iranian pop songs from the pre-Revolutionary ‘70s, their third after Zendooni and Khana Khana . Soli is back. Beti returns. Strings, strings—violins, violins, streaming aside like milky curtains—and it wasn’t until I reached the end of Tisheh o Risheh and put on a set of Erkin Koray’s Turkish music from almost the same era that I realized how sit-downy the Iranian music was, in comparison—Koray said Get Up, Circle Dance, Move, Tisheh said, Contemplate and Listen. The violins are part of that, the loose soothing whiplash, and there is the vocal delivery, the balladic smoothness—not in all of them, I’m exaggerating, this is not a blanket statement, but enough to leave me with the impression of a sort of will to loveliness. Contrary examples: Beti’s “Khooneh Khaleh” has a glam laserbeam thing going on with its keyboard and Habib Mohebian on “Maadar” sounds roughed up after his divorce. Angela Sawyer writes pages of useful rhapsodic liner notes with gossip and titbits. Beti is still alive, she says, “very active on facebook”. The vocal overdub effect Shahram Shabpareh uses in “Asheghi Ham Hadi Dare” “isn’t typical for him.” Ramesh was filmed in 1980 wearing a tie. Where is she now?

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