Country of origin:
Type of music generally:
Persian world fusion music
Most recent release, From Night to the Edge of Day (2011)
Azam Ali has a voice of liquid gold. (JoAnn Whetsell)
Recommended first album:
Azam Ali—vocals, hammered dulcimer
Greg Ellis—frame drum, riq, dumbek, bells, keyboards, tuned gong and bowls, vocal drones, karkarba, cajon, nagara
Azam Ali's solo album (singer of Vas) is really beautiful. It reminds me very much of Lisa Gerrard's Mirror Pool. (In fact, she acknowledges Lisa Gerrard and Liz Fraser as influences). Her extensive liner notes are very intelligent, too. They have the feel of musical anthropology combined with a layperson's enthusiasm over a subject. She views her cd as introducing folks to medieval music, and does so in a non-condescending way. (email@example.com)
2006—Six Degrees Records—657036 1130-2
Azam Ali—voice, hammered dulcimer, daf, frame drums, chan chan, zils, all arrangements
Carmen Rizza—programming, keyboards, synthesizers
Azam Ali, Carmen Rizza, Jeff Rona
Azam Ali, vocalist of Vas and Niyaz, has always been a closet goth. Her wordless vocals tended toward the minor key. In her first English language album, she brings out the black nail polish with her dark, contemplative lyrics about war and unrequited love. The music she and her cohorts construct are dark ambient techno pieces liberally accented with the Persian and Indian music that she developed in both her other projects. Danceable rhythms sinuously percolate, while exotic instruments play against a tapestry of delayed guitar effects and swirling keyboards. The sorrowful chord progressions wouldn't sound out of place on a Siouxsie or Robert Smith album, and the compositions—courtesy of such collaborators as Axiom of Choice's Loga Ramin Terkian and Niyaz's Carmen Rizzo—meld traditional and electronic instrumentation seamlessly. The ace in the hole, of course, is Ali's beautiful, rich voice. She turns English into alien language, twisting vowels into odd and magical shapes. In the past, she's sounded like Lisa Gerrard here, or Sheila Chandra there. On this album, Ali sounds like herself. Erotic, mysterious and melancholy, it's not too early to call this the ethereal album of the year. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
2011—Six Degrees—657036 117-2
This album of lullabies inspired by the birth of her first child is incredible beautiful. Don't mistake it for a set intended to soothe restive children to sleep. Comprising both original and traditional music and lyrics from several Middle Eastern countries, it's more like an acoustic Azam Ali album and can be enjoyed by people of all ages at any time of day. (JoAnn Whetsell)
Azam Ali is the voice on the soundtrack to Children of Dune's "Inama Nushif."
Thanks to JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.
DISCLAIMER: Comments and reviews in the Ectophiles' Guide are excerpted from the ecto mailing list or volunteered by members of the list. They are the opinions of music enthusiasts, not professional music critics.
|Entry last updated 2012-03-12 01:28:30.
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