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Rishad Shafi Presents - Gunesh

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Click on the album cover to hear a sample

Progressive rock from Turkmenistan? Well, the answer is yes, and the band is top-notch. Gunesh is led by one of the best drummer I've heard named Rishad Shafi. This guy is right up there with Billy Cobham, Furio Chirico, Giulio Capiozzo, and Bill Bruford. On top of that, he leads a band of some of the most gifted musicians in the world. This rather large band features a smoking bassist(this guy is mind-blowing), a couple of guitarists, a huge horn section, a violinist, and a few keyboardists. The music, driven by Rishad's fast and complex drum work(ala 70s Billy Cobham), combines western progressive fusion with local ethnic influences. Imagine a mixture of Mahavishnu Orchestra with Area and Earth, Wind, and Fire. The Turkmenian sound combines Arabic, Persian, and Indian music, but the band even explores Vietnamese scales on the track "Vietnamese Frescoes". Some of the later tracks feature the horn section blasting out Cuban-influenced riffs while the rest of the band plays fiery Middle Eastern fusion. Overall, the band doesn't let up the intensity for too long. It's rare to hear music of this complexity, and quality. Many tracks also feature beautiful vocal sections which tend to sound influenced by traditional Islamic chanting and singing. Anyway, this gets my vote as some of the best prog released during the the 80s.

Compositions: 10/10
Vocals(in Turkmenian): 10/10
Recording Quality: 10/10


Boheme Music














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