Best Albums of 2016
selected by Ali Eshqi

Amir Darabi<BR>“Dastan-e Tanha”

Amir Darabi
“Dastan-e Tanha”

Amir Darabi is a 19 year-old piano player who was classically trained from age of 3. He expanded his piano skills by learning jazz piano when he was a teenager and a few years ago he started writing his own compositions.

This album titled “Dastan-e Tanha” (Lonely Hands) is the 9th edition of a project called “Ahvalate Shakhsi” (The State of the Individual), which gives a chance to young musicians to publish their first record.

These mostly-solo instrumental albums are “contemporary musical autobiographies” of a new generation of future musicians.

♪♫ Listen: “Moteghabel” (Polar) + album samples

Amir Darabi on Youtube, Facebook, Instagram.

AmirAli Mohebbinejad <BR>“Bi Hava”

AmirAli Mohebbinejad
“Bi Hava”

AmirAli Mohebbinejad’s debut album after 10 years of underground activities is distinct and interesting.

“Bi Hava” (Airless) is completely based on the lyrics arranged over layers of electronic sounds and noises.

Lyrics are about social and personal issues of the artist, mostly in a gloomy and bitter mood, sung in a unique flat way that sounds like something between slow rapping and spoken words.

♪♫ Listen: “Belataklif” (Undecided)” + album samples

AmirAli Mohebbinejad on Soundcloud, Facebook, Instagram.

DAAL Band <BR>“Gozar-e Ordibehesht”

“Gozar-e Ordibehesht”

Daal Band’s debut album is a mixture of world music orchestration and Iranian traditional pop vocals performed by Amin Hedayati.

On “Gozar-e Ordibehesht” (Walk of Ordibehesht), a romantic mood is smoothed with sounds of duduk, cello and piano.

♪♫ Listen: “Gozar-e Ordibehesht” + album stream

DAAL Band on Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Soundcloud, www.

Hamzeh Yeganeh <BR>“Kahgel”

Hamzeh Yeganeh

“Kahgel” is a solo album of a composer, piano player and multi-instrumentalist Hamzeh Yeganeh.

Beside his solo career, he is a member of different bands including Damahi and participates in various musical projects as a leader or side musician.

His style ranges from jazz and rock to folk music. In this album, he presents his “most Iranian music”, featuring Mahan Mirarab (guitar) and Kaveh Sarvarian (ney and Iranian percussions).

Following his other project, Naima, he tries to create his own fusion interpretation, based on Iranian folk tunes and jazz structures.

♪♫ Listen: album trailer + samples

Hamzeh Yeganeh on Soundcloud, Youtube, Facebook, Instagram.

Hesam Inanlou, Navid Afghah, Tony Overwater <BR>“Vahm”

Hesam Inanlou, Navid Afghah, Tony Overwater

“Vahm” (Mirage) is created through the unison of three minds, three perspectives in three geographical regions; same as three lines coming together at one point – goes the official description.

Kamancheh player Hesam Inanlou, tonbak player Navid Afghah, and Dutch jazz double-bassist Tony Overwater, travel through different moods from modern music and jazz to traditional and folk.

♪♫ Listen: “Vahm” (Mirage) + album samples

Hesam Inanlou on Youtube, Facebook, Instagram. Navid Afghah on Facebook. Tony Overwater on Facebook.

Makan Ashgevari, Amir Saremi <BR>“Doore” (Far)

Makan Ashgevari, Amir Saremi
“Doore” (Far)

This album is the result of a collaboration of the singer-songwriter Makan Ashgevari and the guitar player Amir Saremi with some guest artists – each of them brought some new influences to the album.

Titled “Doore” (Far), this is Makan’s first solo album after working as a singer with several bands and projects in last years.

♪♫ Listen: “Kenaram Bash” (Be By My Side) + album samples

Makan Ashgevari on Soundcloud, Youtube, Facebook.

Naqsh Duo <BR>“Narrante”

Naqsh Duo

This collaboration of ECM and Hermes Records is the debut album of Golfam Khayam (guitar) and Mona Matbou Riahi (clarinet) also known as Naqsh Duo.

Produced by Manfred Eicher and Ramin Sadighi, this album is a synthesis of Persian and contemporary music.

“The forms, modes, drones and rhythms of Persian music as well its call for improvisation are redeployed, to new creative ends, in their fresh and vital work”.

♪♫ Listen: “Narrante

Naqsh Duo on Youtube, Facebook.

ReBeat <BR>“Saroseda”


This album called “Saroseda” includes 13 original electronic and techno deep house remixes.

Pedram, who has labeled himself as ReBeat since 2010, is one of the first Iranian fusion house musicians who published his works.

♪♫ Listen: “Saroseda” (full album)

ReBeat on Soundcloud, Facebook, www.

Samin Baghcheban <BR>“Charshanbeh Souri”

Samin Baghcheban
“Charshanbeh Souri”

There is a generation who – for the first time as a kid – listened to “Rangin Kamoon”, a collection of Samin Baghcheban’s symphonic and choral tunes for children published in 1978, or even learned how to sing and play them in kindergarten.

This children music album is part of our collective memory. After many years, the composer’s son Kaveh – himself a musician – collected and recorded some of his father’s unpublished works.

“Charshanbeh Souri” (Firecracker Wednesday), the eponymous hit song of this album, refers to the festival of firecrackers on the eve of the last Wednesday of the year before Nowruz. Samin Baghcheban passed away on Charshanbeh Souri, March 19, 2008.

♪♫ Listen: “Charshanbeh Souri” + album samples

Samin Baghcheban on Facebook, www + Wikipedia.

Se Noghte Band <BR>“Jaee Baraye Hamisheh”

Se Noghte Band
“Jaee Baraye Hamisheh”

Alternative rock band, Se Noghte (meaning “Ellipsis”), was founded in 2012 in the city of Shiraz by Arash Rostami on vocal and Kian Shams on electric guitar.

Their debut album, “Jaee Baraye Hamisheh” (A Place for Ever) produced by the band, was released last summer and is among the best Iranian releases of 2016. In their lyrics they use simple words that can be followed easily, but those words are mature and sit well in their music.

Both the texts and the music have been formed and completed along each other, during the process of jamming and rehearsing.

♪♫ Listen: “Jaee Baraye Hamisheh” + album samples

Se Noghte Band on Facebook, Instagram.

Siavash Amini & Zenjungle <BR>“Topology of Figments”

Siavash Amini & Zenjungle
“Topology of Figments”

In the album “Topology of Figments”, Iranian electronic musician Siavash Amini – who is mostly focused on ambient and drone music – has collaborated with Greek electronic musician Zenjungle.

The last track, “Figments”, is made up of field recording from Athens and Tehran and explores these two urban scenes through the imagination of both artists.

♪♫ Listen: “Figments” + album stream

Siavash Amini on Facebook, Soundcloud. Zenjungle on Facebook.

Soheil Nafisi <BR>“Tarh-e Now”

Soheil Nafisi
“Tarh-e Now”

The fourth album of the singer-songwriter Soheil Nafisi was released at the very end of 2016.

Unlike his other albums where he used to focus on contemporary poetry, this time he made use of poems of a 14th century poet, Hazef of Shiraz.

“Tarh-e Now” (The New Design) has been described as “songs for ghazals of Hafez”, and it includes 17 selected ghazals sung in Soheil Nafisi’s trademark way of singing, accompanied by the acoustic guitar.

♪♫ Listen: “Gol Dar Baro Mey Dar Kaf” + album samples

Soheil Nafisi on Facebook, www.