‘Naz’ is debut album of Iranian singer and film star Liraz and Israeli producer Rejoicer, fresh from his Stones Throw release

Liraz is influenced by Iran’s female musical icons of the 1970s – like Googoosh and Ramesh – and her debut album Naz is as fiery and defiant. She sings in Farsi, on an album dominated lyrically by the role of women in society and musically by the bounce of hip-hop and electronica. It is produced by Rejoicer (Yuvi Havkin), an Israeli beats, jazz and electronica artist who released an album on Stones Throw in August.

Liraz is driven by the diverse assemblage of stories which make up her heritage and her music has mobilised a campaign around women’s rights. Raised in Tel Aviv in Israel, her parents are from Iran yet political circumstances have meant that she’s never been able to visit, following the 1979 revolution. She is also a successful actor in both Israel and Hollywood, acting with the likes of Philip Seymour-Hoffman (A Late Quartet) and Naomi Watts (Fair Game).  It was in LA that Liraz heard music she could relate to and express herself through.

“Persians have these nice, polite manners of being like an Iranian woman,” she says. “You have to be good to your husband, good to your family, very polite… this is the only way I knew.” By way of illustrating her point, Liraz refers to the career of legendary pop singer Googoosh. It was in her music that she first saw a public image of a female Iranian swaggering with confidence, opening her eyes to this dusted-over lineage of public female figures in Iran. “But after the revolution, Googoosh was forced to stop singing, eventually leaving Iran so that she could keep singing outside her homeland,” Liraz says. “It’s a reflection of the newly-restricted role for female musicians in the revolution’s aftermath – and for female singers in particular, who are prohibited from performing solo for male audiences.”

The role of women in society is ever present in her lyrics. In Nozi Nozi she presents the idea of an Iranian archetype of a sweetly-smiling wife, subtly trying to wrestle what she wants out of her husband. Several of the tracks are covers of Iranian artists, like Hala Bavar, a version of one of Googoosh’s songs, pondering inner turmoil and how it relates to daily reality.

Collaborating with producer Rejoicer, also based in Tel Aviv, has created a fusion of Iran’s gamut of traditional instruments and a chemistry of hypnotic songs and heavy-weight beats.

Naz by Liraz is out now on Dead Sea Recordings.

Follow Liraz on Instagram HERE 


A mysterious psychedelic masterpiece: the Middle Eastern music of Moontribe is restored from tapes by Fortuna


Moontribe and their collection of deeply rich and heady music is a fantastic treasure that has been thankfully reissued by Fortuna Records. The Tel Aviv based collective will drop this essential artefact on September 28th.

The music is a brew of tribal percussion, hypnotising organs and long echo ripples. African drums, hints of cumbia and the spaced-out sound that Fortuna has been celebrating, through its reissues, are ever present. This release will definitely appeal to fans of Sun Ra and Idris Ackamoor, while providing that uniqueness that fans of the label now yearn for.

On the origin of the recording, the label explains “The two-inch tapes we were handed had no date. The album was, however, recorded by about a dozen musicians, following one spiritual leader, in one, unedited session. Whatever was played on the session ended up on the tape. The group chose to withhold mentioning their names in order to “strip a sense of self” from what they believe, becoming a vessel for a higher being, carrying signals they do not fully comprehend. All we could do is respect their wishes.

“Channelling a triangular pattern between traditional African, Caribbean and Middle Eastern influences, the psychedelic congregation stretch their hallucinogenic message deep into the cosmos, touching the stars and offering a “lament for a moon that never had its own moon”.”

The collective continue to gain critical acclaim from the likes of Gilles Peterson. Their world-class Boiler Room set in 2013 is a must see and future shows look very appealing. It all means that Fortuna Records are a leading light in terms of musical discovery and they continue to captivate here with another essential and coveted recording.

To pre-order, go to Fortuna Records’ Bandcamp.

Check out one of their previous reissued discoveries: