Niyaz, which means ‘yearning’ in Persian and Urdu, was formed in 2005 by Ali, multi-instrumentalist Loga Ramin Torkian and two-time Grammy nominated producer and electronic musician Carmen Rizzo. The band borrows from an historic lineage of Middle Eastern poets setting verse to music, perhaps most famously known today through the work of the 13th century Persian poet Rumi and theendless barrage of quotes attributed to him on Twitter and Facebook. While the immediate goal of Niyaz was to explore the music and identity of Iranians living in exile and struggling to maintain their cultural identity in the modern world on their first two acclaimed records, Niyaz and Nine Heavens, the band has expanded that theme with Sumud.
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
I've been really enjoying Sumud, the third album from Iranian emigre band Niyaz, a wildly propulsive, emotionally stirring kind of thing, mildly electrified but not jarringly synthetic or modern. The title means "steadfast" and the album is, apparently, all about surviving through struggle. Before I embarrass myself trying to describe a kind of music that is mostly unfamiliar, how about just lifting from the label site: