2LP Edition of 497. Gatefold / Heavy Vinyl includes download slip. Artwork – N.R. Safi. Pitchfork Review by Marc Masters
2nd Pressing –
Cardinal Fuzz and Feeding Tube records are proud to bring to you, Naujawanana Baidar – Volume 1 & 2 on double heavy black vinyl.
Naujawanan Baidar (Farsi for Enlightened Youth) is the project of artist and musician N.R. Safi (The Myrrors)
With roots in the now-endangered sounds of 1960s-80s Afghan cassette culture, Naujawanan Baidar filters the traditional music of Safi’s paternal heritage through a labyrinth of buzzing drones, tape manipulation, and fuzz-drenched percussion, warping both traditional and popular forms into a tangled mass of tape-saturated noise inspired by the very medium that once carried them.
Traditional folk instruments (both acoustic and home-amplified) like the rubab, armonia, sorna, and tabla, twist and melt into blown-out electrical storms, proving that one does not necessarily need guitars or any other standard western instrumentation to channel the trance-like energy of rock and roll. Although the end results may sound far removed from the original artists that helped inspired them (legendary performers like Ahmad Zahir, Beltoon and Hamidullah, or Salma Jahani) there is something to be said for this “new” or “imagined” form of contemporary Afghan experimental music. Had the dusty backstreets of pre-war Kabul birthed an experimental music scene paralleling German’s krautrock movement, one can imagine that the results might have sounded a little something like this.
These tracks were cut over the course of 2017 to 2019 as a sort of sonic notebook, documenting the evolution of the project as it first took shape. Though the majority were originally conceived of as nothing more than demos or impressionistic sketches, the spontaneous and ramshackle approach of the tapes was eventually deemed more than befitting the spirit of the project . Naujawanan Baidar both reaffirms its ties to a relatively hidden (to outside eyes at least) cultural history while at the same time pushing outwards into new and unexplored territories.
Originally released via Radio Khiyaban on cassette (the packaging and artwork on both cassette releases was a direct homage to 1970s Afghan tape design)Bandcamp
“put a dervish brotherhood from the Hindu Kush in a room with Afghan Folk instruments, multiple tape recorders and a box of psych records from the 60s and 70s and imagine what would come out. That is the sound of Naujawanan Baider. “The album is a sonic whirlwind; you feel you are between worlds, between tape players, turning in a trance of distorted melodies and ricocheting rhythms.” – Scene Noise
“Far from a rehash of classical sounds but rather a re-imagined psychedelia emanating from a land and culture that us western fucks would be obliged to learn about outside of the contexts of conquest and geopolitics.” – Plague of Jams