Various Artists: Sedayeh Del: Funk, Psychedelia and Pop

Various Artists
Sedayeh Del: Funk, Psychedelia and Pop from the Iranian Pre-Revolution Generation
Pharaway Sounds

This Iranian compilation starts with its strangest and best track, “Heleyos”, the work of Zia Atabi who was once honored by the experience of having R.D.Burman steal one of his songs. Iran is not India but “Heleyos” is gold for anyone who has already embraced filmi music in its most mixed-stew phases, since the song starts with beatbox screaming, then strutting guitar, then there’s a blast of brass, and the brass in this song is weirdly like the trumpets in one of those Balkan dance tracks that started a trend a few years ago. The singing settles into a dizzy gully. Finders Keepers used the same song to open their own Iranian 1970s retrospective compilation Pomegranates in 2010 and it will probably be used to open other compilations in the future. It’s one of those songs you want to hit people with because you know they’ll say, “What is that thing? Who made that?” and then they will look at you with respect. The intriguing tracks on Sedayeh Del are all front-loaded. The compilation settles down in the middle and we’re back to the more typical Iranian 1970s pop music that we’ve heard on Pharaway’s other compilations, more of the strings and singing, less of the surprise. It’s all still “funk, psychedelia and pop,” as promised on the cover, but now the rewards in each track are subtler, less immediate.

RATING 6 / 10