Various Pomegranates

It would be pretty easy to mega-mix this label's entire catalogue. On every release, whether from Pakistan, Korea, Turkey or Iran, as is the case here, you'll find freak-beat kit drums, lysergic guitars, highly charged emotions, occasional old school electronics and funky folk sounds. That needn't reduce each profiled country to just one stop on the vintage groove train, but the liner notes of Pomegranates posit a term called "Global South" to emphasize the similarities in the baby boomin' music of the world during the '60s and '70s. Here, they detail the latter decade of the Shah's rule, where westernization was responsible for increasing social division, but also for these hybrid sounds. Googoosh was, and may still be, the most prominent voice of Iran, and her sense of experimentation and iconic voice are highlights. But you'll also here echoes of West African grooves slamming with India via California tablas and sitars. Most entertaining is the proto-disco vibe of string stabbed and phase shifted Persian funk. It all ended in a hurry post-1979, but hopefully compilations like this help illuminate a vibrant, yet overlooked, period in popular culture. (Finders Keepers)