Various Rangarang

Vampisoul strikes again with a "forgotten jewels" collection of questionable provenance. Before getting into the peculiarities of this compilation, it's important to state that the music is excellent throughout. Over its two discs, a wide variety of sounds and approaches are showcased, some cosmopolitan, others more classical and some folkloric. Stylistically it's a mishmash of Western pop, prog-rock, action movie funk and more traditional song forms, all of which point to a more open celebration of musical possibilities than could ever be said of contemporary Iran. Stars like Googoosh and Kourosh Yaghmaei are predictably among the standouts, but an unsung hero is the dubwise analog tape delay shot through pretty much everything. However, more informative liner notes would have contextualized this compilation better: where were these tracks licensed from? Were they licensed at all, since it appears that any music industry was destroyed (along with the careers and lives of most of these artists) with the revolution of 1979? Any good compilation leaves you wanting more, but Now Again's Yaghmaei's comp was better executed and more focused. (Vampisoul)