Exceptional debut album from Esfand, an international duo filtering Iranian folk through contemporary electronic music.

Esfand is an electronic duo, consisting of Netherland-based Iranian musician Rouzbeh Esfand and New Zealander electronic musician Patrick Stewart, who met during their studies at the Conservatory of Hague. “Piltan” is their debut studio album, released by 30M Records.

Their music is a fusion of Iranian regional folk with contemporary electronic music, specifically techno beats, featuring renowned Iranian musicians like Habib Meftah, Mohsen Namjoo and Misagh Moradi on vocals.

Rouzbeh Esfand (Esfandarmaz), primarily known for being the ex-clarinet player and one of the founding members of Pallet who left the band in 2018 to continue his education and pursue his solo career abroad, for his master’s thesis studied the rituals and music of various Iranian ethnic groups.

“Piltan” is the output of his explorations of Iranian folk music in collaboration with Patrick Stewart in the form of a musical journey through the variegated Iranian regional music and rituals.

The journey starts from the coasts of Persian Gulf, capturing the trancey rhythms of Zār ritual, a therapeutic ceremony popular around the coasts of the Persian Gulf and northeast Africa, which its function is to evict the bad spirits, Zār, which is believed to be the reason of mental illnesses out of the possessed person durings long drumming and chanting sessions.

Then they wander around the music of the Bakhtiari people of the southwest, the nomadic Qashqai people of the west and the Kurdith people of the northwest.

Perhaps there is a similarity between the ancient ecstatic rituals always accompanied by music and mesmeric electronic club music.

The production of this album is a sophisticated blend of folk music samples, electronic grooves and synth lines along with the vocals of singers on four tracks.

This album was published by 30M Records, a Hamburg-based micro label dedicated to Iranian cutting-edge contemporary music.

Stream “Piltan” LP on Spotify and Bandcamp.


Esfand on Instagram.

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