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coverpic flag Iran - Full Moon 189 - 02/07/12

Salim Ghazi Saeedi
Human Encounter

For the most part dominated by the interplay between piano, upright bass and drums, punctuated by occasional ecstatic bursts of electric guitar, Human Encounter is a thorny jazz-rock release by Iranian musician and producer Salim Ghazi Saeedi. It is perhaps best compared to the more abstruse corners of King Crimson's discography, but without the fireworks and melodic beauty that make Fripp and Co's best work really come alive.

Saeedi's presentation of the 'dark' and 'bright' sides of human nature in the two distinct halves of the album stirs up some interesting themes - especially with vivid song titles such as "Sadistic Teacher" and "Lustful Feast Of Flesh" - but it unfortunately proves rather stilted in execution. Ultimately, I can't discern much of a difference between the two halves in terms of feel.

Not having other musicians to play off means that Saeedi's performances end up sounding rather robotic, each part interlocking without generating the sparks that can arise from the co-mingling of different musical personalities. Plus, there are some dubious sounds here, especially on sound-collage "Human Encounter Prologue", and the synth trumpet that pops up towards the end of "For Kurk" is unforgivable!

While I applaud Saeedi for the vision, instrumental skill and occasionally inspired songwriting required to assemble this challenging suite, ultimately it proves too much of an awkward prospect for me to continue attempting to unravel.

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