Monday, 7 January 2008

lost album: mirwais - production

Remember this? (If player doesn't work click here)

Maybe ring a few bells? Yes? No? Well anyway, it's pretty good isn't it?

Naïve Song is the work of Mirwais Ahmadzaï, a 47 year old French producer of Afghan / Italian parentage, formerly of 80s French new wave band Taxi Girl. The song featured on the album Production, which was released way back in 1999. I think I got it for Christmas the year after, I can’t remember exactly. The song was all over the radio at the time, and I just had to have it. Quite a lot of people know the song, but have absolutely no knowledge of the album, which is a seamless mix of electro and techno with the odd guitar thrown in. It borders on the progressive, but still has some classic pop moments.

Production opens with Disco Science, a track which pounds the listener into paying attention with a throbbing disco beat and hypnotic chanting, interspersed with all manner of euphoric electro crashes offset by subtle guitar strumming. This song also featured on the soundtrack for cockney gangster romp, Snatch. It then segues perfectly into Naïve Song, where playful synth melodies collide with jarring acoustic guitars, whilst distorted vocals express dissatisfaction with the world. Utterly fresh and joyous. Things then get all melancholy for a bit with V.I. (The Last Words She Said Before Leaving) which builds up slowly, before turning slightly scuzzy towards the end. I Can’t Wait displays a more techno side with a gorgeous breakdown that leaves you with that feeling of a CD skipping, but actually it isn’t. Junkie’s Prayer sounds like a robot with a raging hangover which alternates between harsher electronic moments to morose string-led sections. Then Definitive Beat kicks in like a brick to the face, with heavy drums and bass that just wipe the slate clean before leading into Paradise (Not For Me). This song features vocals from none other than Madonna. Mirwais was handpicked to produce a few of her albums on the strength of Disco Science and Madonna lends her voice to this track which is imbued with a similar hazy paranoia, as in Junkie’s Prayer. Never Young Again sounds like the outtakes to Madonna’s Music but without the slightly grating vocal and reworked with the same jarring mix of electronica and strings that grace this album. The album ends on Involution, a chilled out number which rounds things up suitably.

Surprisingly, Mirwais hasn’t released anything since but has been beavering away on a new project. Entitled Y.A.S., Mirwais has joined forces with Yasmine Hamdan, part of Lebanese electro-duo Soapkills.

Mirwais describes the idea behind this project below.

“The idea is that today, in Western culture, we hear about Arabs everyday - in a bad way, because of terrorism, etc - we lack cultural representations coming from those countries that could be mixed with the western culture,. I don't want to do world music, but instead a good western production with a real Arab identity."

A demo posted on their myspace sounds promising, and I’m looking forward to hearing the full length, when it eventually surfaces. Maybe then, in these post-Justice / ALIVE times, another French producer will get a bit of credit for his worthwhile contributions to the world of francophone electronics.

Below are a few tracks / videos to get you acquainted with Mirwais, if you aren’t already.

Mirwais - Naive Song (click here to get a remix from Palms Out Sounds)
Mirwais - Disco Science
Mirwais - Junkie's Prayer
visit his website////buy Production

Video for V.I. (The Last Words She Said Before Leaving)

Listen to Taxi Girl's Cherchez Le Garcon


Mulrine said...

Brilliant post, Sir.

I've bought the album.

I like the idea of resurrecting old albums to in-depth review.

I may be stealing that idea!

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