Exposé Online banner

Manooghi Hi — Silence
((Not on label) no#, 2011, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2011-06-01

Silence Cover artManooghi Hi are nothing if not ambitious, at least when it comes to sound. Every track on their second CD features lush arrangements, intense singing, and a full complement of rhythm from the bass and drum kit to layers of percussion. There are some quieter moments, generally at the starts of songs, but these moments mainly serve to lead us into much bigger things. The lead-off track gives us a quick rhythm on tablas and a tongue-twisting chant from the mixed male and female vocals, before taking us into an Indo-techno dance romp punctuated by some big rock guitars and blazing organ. The stunning vocals of Mehnaz Hoosein soar above it all, conveying emotion and soul regardless of what language she sings in. The second track brings out one of the band's most striking characteristics: their theatricality. A breathy, sensitive Mehnaz backed only by a piano eases us in, and over the next three minutes, backing vocals, acoustic guitar, and harmonium gradually drive us to a soft chord of suspended beauty. Then a big guitar riff introduces the song's coda, a joyous rhythmic catharsis of spiritual release. These elements – the soaring melodies, the rocking guitars, the propulsive percussion, and the massively harmonized backing vocals – figure in varying mixes in all of the songs. For their epic version of "Kashmir," backing vocalist Ava Chakravarti steps into the spotlight, taking Led Zeppelin's classic into another realm with layers of keyboards, backing vocals and multiple guitar parts. Highly recommended.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 39, 2011 releases

Related artist(s): Manooghi Hi

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Birdsongs of the Mesozoic - Dawn of the Cycads – Since I think Birdsongs of the Mesozoic are a great band, and I think cycads are really interesting plants, I won’t be pedantic and point out that cycads actually appeared in the Early Permian...  (2009) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues