Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: World Music, New Age, Pop, Rock
On Seraphim, band's second CD, the musicians of Irfan use traditional (Bulgarian, Balkan, Oriental, Persian, Indian) and medieval European instruments and vocal techniques from the same regions and historical periods, skil... more »
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On Seraphim, band's second CD, the musicians of Irfan use traditional (Bulgarian, Balkan, Oriental, Persian, Indian) and medieval European instruments and vocal techniques from the same regions and historical periods, skilfully woven into a delicate electronic sound. Irfan is also known for its extensive use of a choir of strong male vocals in addition to the ethereal and mystic female vocals in combination with an assortment of traditional and medieval string, wind and percussive instruments including the oud, saz, santoor, viola da gamba, tambura, duduk, darbouka, daf, bendir, zarb and riq.
If Angels Exist, This is How They Would Sound
M. Mierzwa | Davis, CA USA | 02/24/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"About the Band:
Since their previous self-titled release, Irfan, this Bulgarian heavenly voices / neoclassical ensemble has been joined by Petar Todorov, who brings with him even more traditional instruments in the bands wonderful mix of Eastern European and Middle Eastern inspired folk songs.
With the exception of violins and cellos, the band is known for its use of non-modern (read traditional) instruments. Typical songs feature multiple vocalists and additional guest artists, who bring other rare and lovely sounds into the mix.
Signed to France's Prikosnovenie music label, which describes itself as the world's leader in fairy and fantasy music, Irfan will appeal to a broad range of listeners. If you enjoy Canad's Loreena McKennitt, Australia's Dead Can Dance, England's Mediaeval Baebes, or Germany's Love Is Colder Than Death, then you will find something you like in Irfan.
About the Album:
Seraphim is Irfan's second release and is (in part) named after lead female vocalist Denitza Seraphimova. The name also is Hebrew for the highest order of angles, and as such it appropriately characterizes the heavenly sounds collected in this album.
I ordered this CD directly from France, but the version being offered here on amazon is a North American release carried by the Noir / Dancing Ferret distributor. The track listing looks identical to my Prikosnovenie version, and the price offered here is a steal. Though I highly encourage you to sample the tracks, sadly they only capture small parts of dynamic songs and do not fully represent the range or fullness of the songs.
I was already a fan of the first album, thus I took a few listens to before I was album to appreciate Seraphim on its own merits. This album has a stronger Middle Eastern influence in its early tracks (which at times sounds similar to the US band Vas).
Similar to the shorter classical transition tracks included on many Love Is Colder Than Death albums, Invocatio and Invocatio II, are really just transition pieces. This isn't to suggest that they are not solid songs in their own right. Reminiscent of short choral invocations or hymns like those you would sing in a church service, these two shorter tracks effectively allow the album to transition from Middle Eastern to more Central European sounds.
As promised above, fans of the Mediaeval Baebes will certainly enjoy Seraphimova's layered vocals on Fei. The track, Star of the Winds, was originally released on Dancing Ferret Disc's 2006 compilation. I really like how Star of the Winds features male and female vocals that at times dominate the song and other times are silent, allowing the other instruments a chance to shine. Finally the last track, Return to Outremer, is a throw back to Irfan's first release.
- Invocatio II
- Hagia Sophia
- Los Ojos de la Mora
- Star of the Winds (Khaukab al Hawwa)
- Love Is Colder Than Death
- Mediaeval Baebes
- Das Zeichen
- Loreena McKennitt
- Moon Far Away
- Dead Can Dance
In closing, if you love acoustic instruments and vocals, then I highly recommend you sample all of the tracks on this album. I've found that when I listen to Seraphim that I am so lost in the music that whatever my real-life problems are, they feel as though they are thousands of miles and hundreds of years away. I literally feel as though I am truly graced by the presence of angels.
Way Good In It's Genre
Wilson Harpe | Chattanooga, TN | 01/15/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Music is like color, everybody has their favorite. This is a sort of trance, tribal sound. The instruments seem authentic and not synthesized. I like both. They have pathos as well as the pulse. I am not sure where they are from. I suspect Eastern Europe. They hit both frequencies, soft and sensual as well as driving tribal in their version. One of my favs and I am off to explore their other album. I compare them to Lesiem and Qntal, but different. You know? Me either."