Exposé Online banner

Revival — Revival
((Not on label) no#, 1979/1995, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1995-11-01

Revival Cover art

Note: When this review was written in 1995, the information accompanying the CD included a number of inaccuracies which have since been revealed. See notes within the text for corrections.

Progressive rock from Iran [actually Iraq]? In fact, the story behind this lost obscurity is a sad one [or would be sad, if it were actually true], made even more so by the fact that the music on it album is positively amazing. Bandleader / guitarist Al-Basim [real name Basim Al-Hashimi] was an Iranian [or rather Iraqi] national who, while in the United States, recorded this completely instrumental album with three other musicians. After the tapes were completed, but before the album was actually released, Basim returned to Iran [Iraq]. Somehow, word had arrived before him that one of the three musicians he recorded with was Jewish, and because of that he was met with the death squads. [None of which actually happened.] Hearing of Basim's fate, the three American musicians decided to go ahead and release the album anyway (albeit in a micro-quantity), as a tribute to Al-Basim. [Apparently, there was a limited pressing, but the circumstances surrounding its release are unknown.] Basim is supported by bass, drums and flute. The style varies, from the quiet and serene "Souvenir" with the flute doing much of the soloing while Basim uses his guitar to create background effects, out to the more free-form jazz-tinged "Open Space," which features some uncredited saxes in addition to the flute. Most of the five long tracks naturally exhibit a strong Middle Eastern flavor, in some ways comparable to the work of Aktuala or Alain Markusfeld, yet Basim's guitar presence is the band's guiding force here. He has a tendency for explorative solo wanderings, even approaching the psychedelic at times. The interplay between guitar, flute and effects throughout brings out a strong emotional quality in the music. Overall, a very satisfying album that crosses many cultural lines, and certainly one of the most welcome reissues of the year. [A reissue of quesionable legitimacy, as it turns out. Basim, who is alive and well and living in France, has it available for purchase on his website (linked below), though it is certainly not widely available.]


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 8, 1995 releases, 1979 recordings

Related artist(s): Revival (Basim Al-Hashimi)

More info
http://www.basimmusic.com/albums.php

Latest news

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Soft Machine Legacy - Live Adventures – With the sad passings of Canterbury icons Elton Dean and Hugh Hopper, the reformulated quartet continues to carry on convincingly in the vein of the great icon of British Jazz. Now led by the voices...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues