Like the preceding two albums from Naujawanan Baidar, the alias of N.R. Safi (The Myrrors), the sounds on Khedmat Be Khalq chew on a strain of Afghan street music that writhes at the impacts of imperialism, militarism, and fundamentalism on Afghan culture. The album taps out a sonic beacon of resistance to the poles that have become points of strain on a culture rich with history. Safi sets the strident sounds of rubab against an encroaching wave of industrial percussion, tape deck aesthetics, and 70’s motorik rhythms. The title track brings all of these to a head, shouting its choruses from the dented speakers of boomboxes, spilling into the streets with a fire that blooms from a glow to a glare by the end of the song. The record marks the shift to a studio setup for Safi, a more focused affair that still never loses its rough charms. The record is out July 8th from Dutch label Radio Khiyaban, on digital and cassette, with an LP to follow soon.
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