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Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Iran Underground

I was digging through a collection of songs I downloaded last year, mostly from one of the SXSW Festivals. I completely forgot about it – well, I didn't really – but the sheer number of bands featured is staggering, so I fall back to this source when I run out of current monthly playlists flying about. As usual, I digress. Long story short – I came across two Iranian bands – The Casualty Process and The Yellow Dogs. Further research didn't yield as much as I was hoping for – but enough to keep them on my radar from now on.

They have very similar stories with same difficult starts in their home country – namely because their music is not approved by the government – a concept most of us can’t even dream up. They are, in every sense of the word - underground.

The Casualty Process (Teheran, Iran)

Formerly called The Plastic Wave, The Casualty Process is a three person Iranian underground electronic band, with meaty bass, guitars and industrial beats, electro and rock influences (sounds a bit trip-hop to me in places), formed by Natch Nadjafi, songwriter, guitar/bass/keyboard player/laptop and Cis Nadjafi, vocalist, and joined by Shayan Amini, on guitar/bass. The first tune I heard was “Code” and that set me on the hunt for more.

So far, they have released LP – “[UN]even” (I love the artwork, the characters are inspired by their real life – each one tells a story) and single “Code”. They covered Pixies’ “Where is My Mind” and How to Destroy Angels’ “A Drowning” – all freely offered on their website with an option to buy or donate.

They are working on their first video “On The Ground”.

and now for something completely different

The Yellow Dogs…

... are an Iranian post-punk psychedelic band. Members include Obash (vocals& rhythm guitars), Looloosh (lead guitars & synth), Koory (bass & backing vocals) and Zina (drums). – they list Joy Division as their main source of influence.

They were formed in 2006, and like The Casualty Process – have had difficulties practicing and performing freely. Their first legal concert was in Istanbul, Turkey, followed by Brooklyn, NY, USA. They played two underground concerts in Tehran together with another Iranian band, the Free Keys, and performed in Bahman Ghobadi's Cannes Un Certain Regard award winning film, No One Knows About Persian Cats (a film about the underground rock scene in Iran).

You can find their EP, In The Kennel, on bandcamp.

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