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

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Trans-Siberian Orchestra - The Lost Christmas Eve – It’s hard to imagine that the core members of metal band Savatage would take a musical U-turn and arrive with a huge money-making project that has nothing to do with their previous incarnation. The...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues