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Hiatus - Distancer

  by Dave Goodwin

published: 9 / 6 / 2021

Hiatus - Distancer
Label: Easy Action Records
Format: CD


Superb electroniica on fifth album from Hiatus, the project of London-based Cyrus Shahrad, which is partially influenced by his Iranian homeland

Too young to remember his homeland, London-based British-Iranian producer Cyrus Shahrad left Iran after the revolution. During the years that followed he would from time to time listen to old half beaten up cassette tapes of his father’s favourite musicians, singers like Hayedeh and Googoosh whose voices seemed both foreign and familiar to him whilst he was growing up. Shahrad released four other albums under the guise of Hiatus, before this, his latest offering, ‘Distancer’. This is his second spoken word collaboration after 'Delam', which closed the last album, ‘All the Troubled Hearts’. Covid had its hand in the way this album came together in one way or another. As it happens, all the songs were already written give or take a few lines, but the vocals and many of the instruments hadn’t been recorded so Hiatus had to record all of the instrumental parts remotely, which was obviously a challenge in the climate the Coronavirus set us. What has been left though makes for a very good listen. This outing is actually the first time Shahrad has had chance to perform with Iranian musicians and he managed to coax traditional Iranian singer Malahat and her partner Faraz into the mix, who plays an amazing Iranian string instrument called a kamancheh. Hiatus mixed 'Distancer' in his old bedroom at his parents' house because he was locked down there, and one can really hear the Iranian influence on this. Having a sort of Sacred Spirit come Enigma sound to it, the traditional singing is complimented by Shahrad's wonderful electronica and that mix of instruments driving the Middle Eastern touch forward. This is a little more hopeful than the past few offerings, Shahrad suffers from bouts of depression. The latest single released from this is a track called ‘Arrival’ which houses a spoken rendition of a poem by Persian poet Rumi called ‘The Guest House’. This, for me is a superb offering with a nod to the unusual that works and its chill factor makes for a calm and inspiring listen. Smashing!

Track Listing:-
1 Distancer
2 Arrival
3 Your Place Is Empty
4 Realism
5 Shadowless
6 Semblance
7 People in Buildings
8 At the Gates
9 Mercy
10 Human

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