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Review: In God’s Image by Saint Abdullah

October 25, 2020

Saint Abdullah are two Iranian brothers based in Brooklyn and Tehran, who create sounds largely inspired by the religious, political, and cultural history of Iran. Mohammad and Mehdi Mehrabani-Yeganeh have largely grown up in the west but like many people with roots elsewhere, exploring one’s roots becomes a creative necessity.

They’ve been releasing music since 2017 but In God’s Image is the first I’ve heard. It’s a double CD with 30 tracks, released by Dutch label, Psychic Liberation.

I can’t find it on Bandcamp as a download although they do have music on there.

The music could be described as industrial sound collage…there are Iranian samples among the glitchy electronica. There’s even a hint of dub in places and some tracks are quite chilled, if that’s even possible in this genre. It’s loosely reminiscent of Muslimgauze but I’d suggest this is a little more accessible to those whose tastes aren’t quite so industrial. At least one track reminded me of Jon Hassel, with a jazzy feel.

It’s a well engineered collection and nicely mixed. There’s enough sonic and rhythmic variety between tracks that it avoids the aural assault that some industrial-orientated albums can inflict on the listener. This is an intricate and interesting listen. (One very minor irritation is that the track numbering on the sleeve for disk two doesn’t match what happens when you’re playing a CD, which of course sees the tracks as numbered one to ten rather than eleven to twenty).

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