Exposé Online banner

Manooghi Hi — Manooghi Hi
((Not on label) no#, 2009, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2010-07-01

Manooghi Hi Cover artFull disclosure: the members of this band are friends of mine. So it's fortunate I can honestly and wholeheartedly say it's a great CD. If I didn't think so, I'd probably keep quiet about it. Anyway... There have been many East-West fusions over the decades since the Beatles and others first introduced rock audiences to the possibilities of combining Middle Eastern or Indian music with rock, but none of them quite like this one. By a series of steps too complicated to go into here, Indian pop singer Mehnaz Hoosein ended up visiting Seattle, where she teamed up with a group of veterans of the local rock scene. Their one-off performance went so well that they ended up recording a full album. The resulting music is at times pretty heavy rock, dreamy fantasy, clever comedy, catchy grooves, and melodic invention, all delivered with a casual virtuosity borne of years of experience. Lyrics switch between various languages, featuring Mehnaz in the lead role but with three of the others providing solid backup, including some powerful group arrangements. Part of the strong appeal of the album lies in its variety, its refusal to simply fulfill expectations. You might expect rock music with tablas and exotic scales, but here those are tempered with all sorts of other sounds like proggy keyboards, string arrangements, funky bass, and complex chord progressions. Add to that the sparkling production and you have one of the year's outstanding releases.

Filed under: , Issue 38, 2009 releases

Related artist(s): Manooghi Hi

Latest news

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Gerard - Meridian – One of Japan's longest lived symphonic bands, Gerard has produced a long string of albums beginning with their eponymous debut in 1984, featuring an expanded six-piece lineup, which by the second...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues