The early 00’s re-invitation to Mediterranean-based musical imports lasted all too shortly, and many would agree this injustice had a negative ripple throughout moving a global music perspective in the cultural collective. For those acts that managed to weather the purge past 2002, they found themselves mutated into the world market soundtrack or an unintelligible Air-inspired caricature. For Shahed Mhoseni Zonoozi, approaching the zeitgeist of the early millennium is as effortless as interweaving a genuine cultural perspective. The Journey, a labour of love over the course of 4 years is a wickedly fascinating collection of sub-Europe musicians finding their roots through a non-classist perspective.
Zonoozi, veritable mastermind behind The Journey has the supreme luck of working within a genre that has burrowed its way into an iconoclastic mantle. Along with the artists such as Salar Hamezi and Nubi Kayode, the utterly gross commercialism of “global music” can be reclaimed one again for a philosophic pursuit – the OST to a more proletariat movement.
The Journey finds intelligence in its creation through not allowing itself to stagnate in the shadow of Buena Vista Social Club and the middle-aged eltism that came with an overwise brialliant movement, Zonoozi does well to enculturated a wider cultural landscape as to stay away from suburban summer hangout territory. Still, the standout tracks “Life” and “Unrecognized Country” are the cream that rises to the top of Zonoozi’s musical survey, and perhaps due to the fact that they display such inherent cultural ties to an otherworldy contemporary Cyprus sound.
One doesn’t need much familiarity to instantly gel with Zonoozi’s project other than a mild appreciation for some vivacious European-adjacent beats. Falling into electronica, classically handsome songwriting and a brief excursion into traditional sub-Asian music, The Journey certainly exists better as an adventure in its entirety, but for the culturally perceptive, a single track will do.