Back from the Brink is a wonderfully compiled collection from the reissue masters, Now-Again, of pre-revolution psychedelic rock from Iran: 1972 - 1979 by Kourosh Yaghmaei. Having been censored by the fundamental Iranian government for his “western” psychedelic inspired rock music, Yaghmaei’s music was thought lost, stamped out by a regime which destroyed guitars, drums and record stores across the country. Yaghmaei’s fantastically diverse music, which touches on psychedelia, funk, rock and eastern styles, is now released in a wonderful package, including a booklet of images of the time, full track information and a touching and revealing first-person account by Mr Yaghmaei himself, telling his previously untold story.
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- Back From The Brink by Kourosh Yaghmaei
9/10 Vern Customer review, 2nd July 2014
I bought this CD package from Norman awhile ago and boy-oh-boy, am I glad I did! From the fantastic Now-Again record label which releases compilations and re-issues of obscure or overlooked musicians from all over the world, the only link being bleedin' brilliant music and Kourosh Yaghmaei is no exception.
An Iranian releasing music during the 1970's, Yaghmaei was censored and jailed for releasing "Western" music in a country ruled by a revolution government which banned guitars and even drums and saw the destruction of record shops and instruments across the country.
These are all remarkable facts which I gather from the brilliant booklet within the CD package (there is also one in the lp version) which has a very interesting interview with Yaghmaei and a collection of photos and translated song lyrics. It's something I look forward to with a Now-Again release and makes them so much more special.
The true magic however is of course, the music. With two CDs totaling 30 songs, I thought they might become repetitive or dull - not at all. Each song is unbelievably crafted to create genre spreading songs, each with a real feeling of deep emotion. "Paiz" is a crooning, downbeat ode with swaying strings and a gentle drum beat in contrast to previous song "Hajme Khali" (my favourite of the collection) which has some wonderfully sharp guitar work and awesome clunky percussion with some good old hammond organ in the chorus. It really is a brilliant piece and the songs continue to be brilliant throughout, staying fresh and distinct from each other for the 30 songs. A constant is Yaghmaei's wonderful voice which can turn into this powerful implement of emotion at any time, it's really unique and gripping.
I would highly recommend this beautiful tribute to a forgotten hero of Iranian music, a man who continued to create even when threatened by his government and forced into hiding his songs. Really remarkable in every way and deservedly celebrated.
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