The Rough Guide to the Music of Iran

Various Artists

Among its many worldwide offerings, World Music Network’s series of Rough Guide CDs includes the brand new Rough Guide to Yodel as well as compilations of songs from Tanzania, Brazilian electronica, the Dominican Republic’s bachata and Paris café music. One of the latest in the refreshing audio series is The Rough Guide to the Music of Iran, an exotic romp through contemporary Iranian music that covers the gamut from the hardcore and regal traditional sounds of Masters of Persian Music to the guitar-and-drum-driven punk-edged rock of underground band O-Hum, one of Iran’s first rock bands, formed in 1998. Jahlé, a black Iranian group from the port city of Bandar Abbas, offers up a traditional lullaby (called simply “Lullaby”), notable for the hypnotizing, slinky vocals of singer Isa Baluchestani and the striking, reedy nay jofti (double flute) playing of Ghanbar Rastgoo. The CD also contains a computer-accessible data track that includes an interview with the CD’s compiler, BBC documentary-maker Simon Broughton.