It's really strange to hear genres with similarities in expressions from all over the world. Mehrpouya's low voice in general reminds me very much of Indian music. Also there are various tracks which sound very Indian. But there are many more styles noticeable, varying from 40's styles to Western progressive crossover pop with a Persian or Indian touch. The singing itself creates a beautiful melancholic mood. The playing always is relaxed. The quality of the recordings might not always have been preserved in good condition but the final result on the CD is a bit more so in the low registers as it should be, the music is still very enjoyable. This is a compilation of Mehrpouya's work.
There are two chachacha's on this CD, "Gonjishka", with a ballroom orchestra, including brass, and a complex rhythm section. My favourite "Nemiyayam/Khale Siah", which is even much more original through it's adaptation of a Persian melodic feel. A couple more tracks have more quiet arrangements, varying from Persian, orchestral, classical chamber music with additional bluesy middle eastern electric guitar ( : "Gole Gham/Mare Ghoo", "Kouli Gool Foroosh", "Ghesehe Vafa/Guitar-E-Man", "Koocheh/Kolie Gool Foroosh"). "Adama/Ghoroobe Paeez" has a samba rhythm with electric guitar, middle eastern bells and clarinet, and "Doe Pajereh/Ghabilehe Leili" starts with an instrumental part with orchestral arrangements, funky wahwah guitar, drums. It's a nice crossover between western progressive pop with middle eastern elements. One track, "Jaddeh" is very odd through its use of experimental noises of a Persian sounding melody, with sparse violin arrangements and something that sounds a bit like an electric guitar but probably is another middle eastern instrument. A couple of other tracks, like "Hargez Dobaareh Aasheghi" sounds more Indian, and use sitar with tabla as accompaniment. "Sahel va Darya/Saaz-e Ghamgin" with sitar could be Indian music. "Mordab/Aseman Migeryad Emshab" is a wonderful slowly played melody with sitar, organ, tabla & flute. "Eshareh" is a crossover with sitar. is a song with quiet classical arrangements, and electric guitar. And also "Bizar/Hergaz Dobareh Ashegh" is another song with sitar & tabla.
I'm sure Mehr Pouya/Mehrpouya's music will appeal to anywhere in the western, eastern and middle eastern world. It's melancholic, but warm and is played in a typical relaxed way.
There was little time left before the last radioshow for some tracks from this album to review this album in time, but I will try to describe. It is a great album with a deep and somewhat independent and distinctive vision on progressive fusions between genres, with a rather dominant Indian influence with sitar. 2 tracks have afro-funk influences, like the first track, and the 11 minute title track. Only one track, the second clearly is based upon a Persian tune and mode. The nostalgic Indian flavoured voice and songs sound even more matured than the previous single. Highly recommended !
The translations of the Persian titles (in Arabic writing) were not given. The bonus track, together with two other tracks could be found on the previous compilation. The funky tracks are also worth tracing/checking out for dance floor DJ’s. One of those impossible to find progressive minded LP's from 70s Iran!
If at least one 70s Iranian should have international attention (despite my admiration for Kourosh, forgive me, as being the most talented and most progressive edge of 70s Iran), it is Mehrpouya who could have put Iran on the map differently with his international and progressive world music vision, even though it especially one LP which really showed the maximum expansion of this vision, an album which of course is included here too, on CD 1. Giving a pretty complete picture of the man, this could make this the ultimate, most essential compilation too, starting with his most funky and most groovy sounds on CD1, and continuing with his earlier grooves in twist and chachacha, of which some of that is essential and pretty unique too.
“Soul Raga” is Mehrpouya’s most famous, most original, deep groovy funky sitar psych track. “Ghama Thanai” is rather Indian styled more relaxed instrumental lead by sitar and flute and tabla mostly. “African Jumbo” is another funky track, brass, funky guitars and some sitar, lasting for over 12 minutes, and with some rather jazzy improvisation too (some trumpet solos and a long groove repetition). DJ’s really should have something to dig here. Low voice singing, beautiful sparsely arranged instrumentation on organ and sitar and flute you can hear on “Aseman Migeryad Emshab”, another classic. This is followed by two flute/sitar/tabla led and more sad Persian-Indian flavoured songs. After this we hear a Spanish dance influence into Mehrpouya’s style (so outside the flute, tabla foundation and sitar, we have a second, rather entertaining humpapa organ led theme). “Ghabileye Leyli” already was used many times in compilations, is more progressively arranged track with very good arrangements, funky wahwah guitars and strings.
This is followed by the older styled big band dance tracks, like a twist “Dokhtare Shab”, a live recording with brass nice chachcha feeling, and more tracks of older dance tracks, perhaps not always recorded or preserved or given the best conditions to show all its potential, so that certain tracks come out better than others. There’s something attractive mysterious in them, something exotic and a returning melancholy, more typical for the Persian times that were given only borrowed time to show their creativity. “Seda Kon Mara” is nice to pick out for its arrangement too, fitting a bit better with CD1 too. For a consistent perfect listen compilation of these kinds of tracks I might prefer the previous compilation I reviewed on this page compared to CD2, never the less here you have I guess a more complete picture through the double CD.