- Most producers couldn't program this music, much less play it.
- It's unclear how Mohammed Reza Mortazavi, the Iranian-born tombak player with the "world's fastest fingers," became interested in leftfield electronic music, but we are lucky he's here. He's found a like-minded collaborator in Burnt Friedman, the German producer who has made it his life's mission to create a novel sound that dismantles western tradition and the hegemony of the 4/4 beat.
On the second four-track EP from Mortazavi and Friedmann's YEK collaboration, the duo has established an uncanny groupthink. On "YEK 166–3," Mortazavi's fingers fly across the tombak at around 170 BPM. Friedman's minimal accompaniment is just as fleet-footed, his playful basslines and arpeggiations flitting around the hectic beat. The earworm highlight might be "YEK 128–10," in which a euphoric guitar line, Mortazavi's microtonal tombak and an insistent bassline reminiscent of Manuel Göttsching's E2-E4—if it was in 10/8, replete with blistering, hand-played polyrhythms and didn't rely on sequencers. We are not worthy.
01. YEK 127–17
02. YEK 166–3
03. YEK 134–17
04. YEK 128–10