Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Nine Heavens (Six Degrees)

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  Age-old traditions come alive in a sound as contemporary as today on Niyaz’s new album. Nine Heavens features the sultry power of vocalist Azam Ali (who has recorded under her own name and with a group called Vas) enveloped in dark-hued sonic tapestries by multi-instrumentalist Loga Ramin Torkian and producer-mixer Carmen Rizzo. The music they weave on Disc 1 brings electronica together with the slippery otherworldly melodies and deeply rhythmic grooves of Near Eastern music. Disc 2 presents those songs, many of them derived from traditional melodies and Sufi verse, in an acoustic context that showcases the bare-bones strength of the material.