Mahe Man / Mau Jeito cover

SíriaMahe Man / Mau Jeito

Crónica 217

Release: 7 May 2024

Get from Bandcamp

  1. Mahe Man
  2. Mau Jeito

Mahe Man is a version of a well-known Persian song, Bote Chin, by Ali Akbar Sheyda. It was my tombak teacher, Kaveh Sarvarian, who introduced me to this piece in a lesson. Since I learned how to play and sing Bote Chin I have wanted to record a version that would intersect the timeless and popular with experimental electronic music. I asked Jeremy Young if he would like to collaborate on this, and he then asked me to produce voice drones that could harmonise with the singing, developing the entire piece from and with the recorded words.

Jeremy Young describes the process: I started with a voice drone that Diana sent me and dubbed that to tape. Because I don’t love stasis or perfect loops or cycles I pretty much always “blind splice” my tape loops, which means I don’t know where the correct cut points should be and there are always subtle imperfections in the way it cycles back, or the timing is slightly odd, etc. The physicality of sound energy being magnetically transferred and then transduced always adds a tangible quality to sound playback, it creates an “object,” and I wanted Diana’s voice to sound like it was coming from an instrument, something you can hold. I played back the original recording at half-speed on the tape machine, creating a tonal octave with the original loop. Then, because her drone pitch was exactly between A-flat and A-natural, to add tonal accompaniment, I had to tune my square and sine wave oscillators microtonally to that pitch center. Once tones started getting added, and reverbs and delays were thrown in, some fascinating artifacts started appearing due to the microtonal wave relationships. I really loved that so in production I tried to enhance those and turn them into sound design elements. Late in the track I introduce a bass line that’s just three-square wave notes being sent through a phaser. The beat comes from sand being dropped onto a contact mic, and the sound of a wooden rod slapping an aluminium plate. The beat incorporates two versions of that loop, one at original speed and one detuned by 3 degrees. Later I went back in and added hi-hats.

Mau Jeito is a remix of a song by Diana Combo and Kaveh Sarvarian, published in the compilation Not Your Fault by the label unha. The original song brings together lyrics in Portuguese, the melancholia of fado and a range of cinematic Eastern and Western musical references. @c’s Pedro Tudela and Miguel Carvalhais distilled those recordings into a hovering, suspenseful, yet serene remix.