Iranian producer Ash Koosha is formally trained in classical music, but also closely integrated with contemporary computer music techniques. His music sounds strange and enticing, treating melodies and texture in unusual ways: it would be fair to say that not much else sounds like GUUD. Released on Olde English Spelling Bee in a white vinyl edition.
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- GUUD by Ash Koosha
9/10 Jamie Staff review, 16 February 2016
Opening in contemplative mood with glitchy electronics bubbling and percolating away and a soft male vocal, the "I Feel That" of the title - the sound drifts up and over you in warm smoky wisps and slowly but surely, stealthily envelops you like a velvet cloak - beats come in and there is a rumbling sub-aquatic bass that emerges when you least expect it.
Indeed, in a segue so smooth it's hardly discernible, gurgles and Drexciyan strings rise through the murk - clouds give way to milky pools and vibrant swirls like strawberry syrup on your Cornetto. Early reference points - the Dilla-esque beats unfold to reveal bursts of Venetian Snares-like flurries of noise and Burial-esque atmospherics. But this music is all Koosha's own and he brings his formal classical training to inform the compositional flow with numerous sonic surprises.
Ash was born in Tehran but calls London his home. You can really detect the influence of soothing Eastern sounds and a deconstruction of Mysticism at play. Relaxing melodic pulses complement bursts of modulated noise, razor-sharp like scythes through molten chocolate. He is having fun here, disembodied vocals dropping in to haunt us over scattergun blasts of drum and heavy pulses rich with haunted electronics, before another change of pace with a section dedicated to dreamy chants and playful melodic synth. Elsewhere are samples of car engines used as the foundation of the beat and plucked strings herald the final quarter of the record, before the Burial and Aphex sounds cocoon us once more.
This is so beautiful; I am addicted to this sound and could listen to it all day - texturally I would be emboldened to say this record is without parallel and it's the most satisfying listen I have had in a very long time. "GUUD" is more than good. It's exceptional.
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