Pan-European electronic club music from Azerbaijan and Finland
Ya Tosiba is a young electronic music duo by Norwegian-Azerbaijani Zuzu Zakaria and Finnish skweee pioneer Tatu Metsätähti aka Mesak, that mixes old street poetry traditions from Azerbaijan with underground electronic beats. Their sound is inspired by classical Arabic and Persian music, Scandinavian electronic traditions and hip hop - a raw blend of analogue synthesizers, DIY elements and unpolished sounds, heavy electronic beats mixed with traditional instruments and rounded off by Zuzu's hypnotic vocals.
Their first album “Love Party” is, in part, an audio documentation of historical conditions and marginalized people. It lends a voice to voiceless civilians from the street corners of suburban Baku in Azerbaijan. The language they use is a hybrid of Russian, modern Turkish and strong Baku dialects.
The vocals of "Love Party" are drawn from texts originating in the genre known as meykhana, an ancient local tradition and part of the wedding culture in and around Baku where ‘meykhana acts’ are booked for festive audiences consisting exclusively of men. The word ‘meykhana’ is translated from the Persian for ‘wine house’: the gatherings where it is performed – called ‘meykhana medjlis’ – are Sufi get-togethers and places for religious chanting in Islamic literature.
Today, there is a new form of meykhana emerging in local media, and it represents an innovative and different mainstream genre. As soon as globalization and the new open-market capitalism hit the streets of Baku, the genre took on a new meaning in contexts that had little to do with political mobilization or artistic and intellectual stimulation.
The texts chosen for “Love Party” attempt to describe resistance – no matter whether it is part of an imperialist past, of low and high local statuses or current stereotypes. Ya Tosiba combined these texts with slightly more Western-style musical compositions. Although the poetry presented speaks of universal issues, it is performed by and for men. For those familiar with the tradition and its context, the idea of having it performed by a woman might be considered disturbing.
The terrific album cover was designed by musician, composer, radio DJ and last but not least Finland's 'Graphic Designer Of The Year 2017' Vilunki 3000 aka Mikko Viljakainen.
Zuzu Zakaria: vocals, melodies, arrangements, rhythm programming, percussions, SH-7, Bisquit, Shruthi-1, editing of the tar and saz recordings of Jørgen Skjulstad (alias Center Of The Universe)
Tatu Metsätähti: recordings, mixing, arrangements, rhythm programming (RYTM, Miami, Leploop, Kontakt, HR-16), percussions, modular synths, SH-7, JX-3P, Sammich SID, DX100, Microwave I, Minod Vorga, Dark Energy, 0-coast
Center Of The Universe: tar and synth solo (1); additional synths and edits (2); saz and synth solo (4)
Joxaren: synth solo (3)
Patric Catani: additional synths and edits(6)
Osman Murat Ertel: electric and acoustic saz; Levent Akman: spoons; Periklis Tsoukalas: electric oud; Ümit Adakale: davul, bendir, def, darbuka (8)
Neybuu: tabla; Antti Satta: additional drums (9)
1. Keçi (The goat) / 2. Arif / 3. Qurban Gəlir (Ramadan is coming) / 4. Love Party / 5. Futbola (To soccer) / 6. N qədər (N number of times) Music by Uday / 7. Qoçu (The bully) 3:48
8. Misra-misra (Strophe by strophe) Music by BaBa ZuLa / 9. Maşın (The car)
Total playing time 42:11
All tracks published by Asphalt Tango Records.