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Saeedi; Salim Ghazi: Human Encounter

Human Encounter is the quick fire follow up to last year's Iconophobic from Iranian multi-instrumentalist and avant-garde, art-rock composer Salim Ghazi Saeedi and much as its predecessor did, this album blends disparate sounds and ideas into uncomfortable and challenging music. The theme of Human Encounter is exactly that, with the first six songs reliving some of Saeedi's unfavourable encounters with our species, while the second six recount the more positive human experiences. That said the difference between both sections isn't actually strong enough to be felt musically, without actually referring to the track listing.

As before Saeedi handles all of the instruments himself and while that means all too obvious drum samples, it does give this stark, dark music a remarkably personal feel, almost as though the composer is baring his soul through his music. That said, the lack of collaboration also does mean that in places Human Encounter is an album which can at times lose its way, with some ideas not seen through to their conclusions and as mentioned the complete lack of light to contrast against the perpetual gloom. Saeedi does though have an innate ability to convey the emotions that are in his heart through the music he writes, with the impressive, if challenging arrangements also bring a wealth of atmosphere. Picking out individual tracks to illustrate this album is a tough task, as it undoubtedly works best as a continuous, if rather short, listening experience and I'd go as far as to suggest that taken in isolation the songs actually lose their ability to make sense.

Darkly uncompromising and intentionally unsettling, Human Encounter is a an album that needs many listens to unveil its inner secrets and while in places it does verge on being more impressive than it is enjoyable, the little intricacies and excellent musicianship do keep you coming back for more.

Track Listing
1. Human Encounter Prologue
2. Lustful Feast of Flesh
3. You Many One Devils
4. Lonesomeness
5. Sadistic Teacher
6. City Bombardment
7. For Eugene, Distilling the Delicacy
8. For Ali, Who Does Live Many Births Mercifully
9. For Kurt, The King Without Crown
10. For Thelonious, and His 88 Holy Names
11. For Jeremy, Embodying the Mastermind
12. Unknown Red-Skirt Girl, Who Vanished Before My Eyes in 1995

Added: November 28th 2011
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Salim World
Hits: 3315
Language: english

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