Iran: Aemilia (Aagoo, 2020)

June 2, 2021 at 9:35 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Iran: Aemilia

Not to be confused with the noise-rock band led by the late Aaron Aites, this Iran is an Italian trio who make sprawling but structured improvised instrumentals, using analog keyboards, guitar, and drums. There’s also self-described “crappy drum machines”, toy keyboards, field recordings, and other sounds and instruments in the mix. The opening track “Qom” is a very ragtag piece with noisy analog keyboards and metallic percussion, and while it twists in a couple different directions, it’s very groove-forward, which keeps it from getting completely chaotic. “Magnitogorsk” has a more consistent mood, with hypnotic patterns played on well-worn keyboards over skittering, echoing drum machines. The nearly 10-minute “Xenopolis” is a sort of junkyard battle that ends in a desert hallucination. “Regium Lepidi” starts out soft and slow, but its rusty saxophone helps blow it out of balance, and the whirring keyboards warm up and the drums whisk it off the ground. After another dusty epic (“Cuma”), “Aral” is easily the album’s most upbeat, joyous track, but also one that bubbles, boils, and haunts. Finally, “Bam” mostly drifts rather than scorches, although there is a spicy part in the middle.

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