Avant Garde drone electronica Experimental noise review violin

Tegh and Adel Poursamadi – Ima ایما Review

Iranian drones mixed with chaos and culture.

What does Tegh and Adel Poursamadi sound like?

Iranian drone from past and future.

The review of Tegh and Adel Poursamadi – Ima ایما

Sometimes as a listener you stumble across a soundscape you haven’t experienced before. For me, Tegh and Adel Poursamadi provided just that with their new album “Ima ایما”. Tegh is an experimental glitch noise and drone composer. Adel is a violinist who brings to the table a vast depth of traditional Iranian sentiment through one instrument. Tegh, based in Tehran, then dresses his electronica drones around the violin to create the album.

Tegh and Adel Poursamadi - photo by Aram Tahmasebi
Tegh and Adel Poursamadi – photo by Aram Tahmasebi

This album is a visceral and multilayered assault on the senses. “Bad’a بدع” kicks off the album with an over ten-minute drift through some of the more romantic ideas of Iranian music. It ethereally drifts and stirs the emotions from Adel’s playing but Tegh’s more aggressive electronica creeps in. Industrial grind, deep space bleeps and guttural churns mix with ominous string screeches and a glassy turning of the wheel feeling. It sounds rooted in the past but is audibly bleached into harsh futurism too. The chaos steps up a gear with “Regh​`​e رقعه” where we seem to intercept the track as a radio frequency. The song shifts in and out of focus as if we are tuning into Iran’s melodic heart but the mechanical side of the music is ripping the listener away. Then after a period of intense focus where only traditional violin is being played out in a variety of ways, the electronic fuzz and chaos invades again and overpower the violin. The song then bleeds out into a numbing drone of both acoustic and electronic hums, like a cyclone being washed away.

Single “Ijād ایجاد” allows Tegh to explore modular synths in all their chaotic form. Harsh white noise bursts act as percussion whilst various computer data splurges melodically trickle and burst before transitioning into violin strikes. It reminds me heavily of the Naqoiqatsi soundtrack with Philip Glass and Yo-Yo Ma. You can’t always tether the acoustic and the electronic to separate events, they shapeshift between the two. For me “Ijād ایجاد” is the stand-out piece that utterly sells the concept of this album and since it is such an experimental piece, this song should be your taste tester. Elsewhere “Mornāl مرنال” takes us inside a metallic scream machine full of bending metals, glitchy percussive bursts and yearning violin motifs. It builds up into a militant frenzy before dispersing, leaving us with closer “Gamān گمان”. Here, the ending is slightly ambiguous. We start off with a dramatic pulsating sub-bass line that dominates the early minutes before a melodic violin arrangement gradually takes centre stage. It’s one of the few moments in the album where the modern-day tech takes a supporting backseat as if to illuminate the beauty of the organic and acoustic. Tegh’s electronics return as the song fades away though as if the threat of the atmosphere he has created is ever-present still.

“Ima ایما ” is a challenging and thought-provoking album. I enjoy drone and atonal music when it delivers a distinctive mood, journey or story. Tegh and Adel Poursamadi manage to give the listener all three. If you find aggressive metallic synths and drones hurt your ears, this might be a skip. For the rest of the avant-garde and experimental drone collective, this album is a gem.

Recommended track: Ijād ایجاد

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Tegh & Adel Poursamadi - Ima ایما



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