£18.49

Yesss – finally! – We got our hands on a few copies of Maral’s ‘Push’, out on Leaving Records.

Regular checkers of our ongoings will know that we’re big fans of Maral’s music & attitude, and if you heard that wild RWDFWDMIX she did for us, or checked her Mahur Club cassette for Astral Plane, then you know what you’re in for:
pure, undiluted, border-transcending, persian / dubwise rawness & magic.

Check the words & thoughts on this brilliant album from Maral herself, along with all the background info you need, right here:

Los Angeles-based Iranian-American producer and DJ Maral introduces Push, her debut full-length album due on Leaving Records October 16 2020. Push is a confident step forward from Maral’s club & mixtape work into a powerful collection of original songs. Push’s palette includes a collage of Iranian Classical & Folk samples, and explores genres of experimental electronic production touching upon noise, punk/post-punk, and dub. Maral writes, “I think it represents me wanting the music to Push people towards thinking about sound/music in a different way and me pushing myself to create something new – different than my last record. As well as this feeling towards society – of wanting them to Push to be better and more forward thinking in how we can make the world a better place.”

“I try to incorporate the philosophy behind Iranian classical music, the importance of improvisation, by letting my samples play around with each other until they become friends. And if they click, that makes a good song,” says Maral. Push bursts with an urgent psychedelic energy, but its songs also grapple with a somber undercurrent. “The history of Iranian music has a lot of melancholy in it. So much of Iranian history is sad. Since ancient times, Iranians were always fighting off invasions.” Push heavily features the Setar, an Iranian lute instrument that Maral has played for years and the instrument of choice for Sufi mystics who use it to transcend beyond the notes. Maral adds, “The quiet nature of the Setar allowed it to flourish during times of invasion when Persian culture and music was banned and needed to be played/passed down in secret.”

The songs on Push feel vividly personal yet constantly besieged by harsh walls of distortion and abrupt shifts. Maral describes it as the sound of fleeting music, where “imaginary band members are being pulled back and forth by a supernatural vortex – suddenly they disappear and reappear as something new. I wanted this record to sound like I was in a band with the samples – where the samples are each a band member. I kind of see myself as the drummer in the band but also I have the lead vocal duties on ‘Sweet Thing,’ ‘No Type,’ and ‘Let The Distortion Sing.’” Releasing tracks with her vocals is a new step for Maral, who reworked the tracks “Sweet Thing” and “No Type” from experiments spanning 4 years with producer So Drove at the Red Bull Music Academy Studios in Los Angeles. They are both love songs, “Sweet Thing” a reassurance to a partner that being together will be “the sweetest thing,” and “No Type” a reinterpretation of the Rae Sremmurd song to say that the partner is “just my type, only thing that I like.” Maral describes Push’s sweeping, transient nature as “this feeling of driving in a car with the windows down and you have your own music playing but also can hear what’s going on outside, and the way those sounds can meld together to create a beautiful song for just a couple of seconds and disappear.”

Push’s marked punk and dub influences are reinforced by intriguing guest features from dub legend Lee “Scratch” Perry and Penny Rimbaud, co-founder of Anarcho-Punk band Crass. “The Penny Rimbaud song came about from me contacting him to show him Mahur Club and to tell him how much Crass has had an influence on me, sonically and philosophically,” Maral writes. “He suggested we collaborate and sent me a poem that I created the song around. The poem is about the events in Iraq and Gaza but can apply to much of the Middle East and the role of western imperialism in that region.”

Maral writes, “At the time that I was making the record, it was when U.S.-Iran relations were really bad. The songs with the Iranian samples have this feeling of spiritual melancholy that is an ingrained part of being Iranian, and I made them thinking about the horrible impacts the sanctions and in general USA’s actions have had on the country and how it just never lets up – the western imperialism that is hell bent on destroying the people in the guise of ‘saving them.’ The songs are kind of my battle of not letting the negative thoughts overcome me and wanting to pass down the beauty and feeling of perseverance that is a part of Iranian culture and music.”

… Love it.
If you like the sound of dub, punk attitude and Iranian sounds all dancing in a bittersweet harmony, unhinged & set free in all the best ways, then you should own a copy of this record, no doubt.

Edition of 500.
Artwork by Stryker Matthews & Annapurna Kumar
Graphic design by Kevin Eskew
Mastered by Matthew “Matthewdavid” McQueen

TRACKLIST:

1. Kerman Wobble 02:21
2. Protect U (feat. Lee “Scratch” Perry) 02:26
3. Push 01:55
4. Dashti 03:45
5. Bushehr 02:04
6. Sweet Thing 01:42
7. No Type 01:51
8. Aziz-E-Man 03:10 video
9. Jadoo 02:20
10. Sweet vs. Heavy 01:47
11. Let the Distortion Sing 03:00
12. Vortex in Love 03:38
13. Lita’s Song 02:03
14. They Not They (feat. Pennyt Rimbaud) 02:52
15. Salam 02:28

More from Maral...
Have you checked out these? Here are some more experimental items...