[Review] Mah-Ze-Tar – Self Titled

Hailing from the surprisingly artistically diverse culture of Santa Barbara, Maz Karandish’s self-titled record released under the moniker of Mah-Ze-Tar is a brilliantly refreshing collection of Eastern-influenced music, both in a traditional and contemporary format. Incorporating sounds from Persian, Indian and other non-Western music consciousnesses, Mah-Ze-Tar venerates the classicism of the past while reflecting a keen and playful perspective of Eastern folk music.

Of the tracks on the record, the titular song best illustrates Mah-Ze-Tar’s ability to blend similar yet institutionally different stylings to represent a truly multicultural approach to music. Introducing vocals in English for the first time on record, “Liquid Lotus” brings Karandish’s backgrounds together in addition to granting him the ability to showcase electronica within genres that have largely otherwise been untouched by technological influences in terms of synthesizers and the like.

Yet another standout track is the epic jam “Keshi,” a devotional song that seemingly redefines form and reconstructs an archetype of Hindi/Middle Eastern grooves altogether. Mah-ze-Tar’s strongest and most indelible entry, Mah-Ze-Tar takes a sonic turn that is nearly industrial in nature. Mimicking a socio-political perspective in some respects, “Keshi” is not only representative of Eastern sounds and notions to come, it is also representative of a climbing globalist perspective fighting against a widely nationalist agenda.

Mah-Ze-Tar is wholly interesting in his release of “Liquid Lotus” not just for its cultural impact but for the solidarity it represents between several nations and the potential synergy that may arise. Collective cultural forces benefit everyone, it seems.

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