Sunday, February 8, 2009

CD Reviews: The Music of Sussan Deyhim

The Ethereal Music of Digital Diva - Sussan Deyhim

Born in Iran and current resident of New York City, Sussan Deyhim is the 'Digital Diva' of experimental/avant-garde music. Her innovative musical creations emanates from a varied background in multiple creative disciplines, including ballet, theatre, dance, and music technology. The music transcends description, but incorporates trip-hop, ambient, atmospheric, and traditional sounds and instrumentation. The result is a mixture of classic mysticism and contemporary arrangements. Her own record label, Venus Rising Records, features 5 of her albums for sale.

Out of Faze

Sussan's vocals provide a perfect balance between electronic beats and trip-hop elements. The music is more organic than somewhat similar groups Waldeck, Hooverphonic, and Morcheeba. Of course, there are ethnic elements which should solidify Out of Faze as a major player in the world of contemporary world/electronic music. Every track is solid. 10 tracks included. Remixes are included by Bill Laswell. Jah Wobble is also featured.


Sussan's vocals take a backseat in this release. Instead, the ethereal sounds of electronic music and mysterious vocalizations amid a ghostly ambiance pervade the album's musical backbone. Soliloquy is a collaboration with visualist and filmmaker, Shirin Neshat. This release is ideal for fans of experimental world chant. Sussan does not disappoint on any track. 16 tracks included.

Logic of the Birds

A mixture of classical Arabic and modern electronic soundscapes meld together with Sussan's cascading vocal abilities. Other vocals provide accompaniment with the musical rhythms, though this is primarily an instrumental effort. Sussan's musical ingenuity is prevalent on every track. This release echoes back to early-Tangerine Dream's music. It's contemplative, serene, engaging, and mesmerizing. The Logic of the Birds makes very much sense to me. 13 tracks in all.

Trouble Man

This is an ode to the funkier songs of the late 1960's and 1970's. The title is taken from Marvin Gaye's 1972 song of the same name. Sussan adds her own take on three classics. The other two songs are 'While You're On Your Way' by Tim Hardin and 'Right Wrong Or Ready' by Major Wiley. Sussan's soulful and sultry side is showcased on this recording. This is potentially the most musically-structured of her albums, because they are covers, but Sussan makes the songs all hers. 3 tracks in all.


The opening track is uniquely Sussan, as it features dramatic sounds and electronic waves of musical energy seemingly fitting as a soundtrack to the outer planets. Yet, it is created on and for planet Earth. If you like Enigma without drumbeats and native vocals, then this is the album for you. If you liked Sussan's Soliloquy, then pick up Possessed, too. As with Sussan's other releases, Possessed takes the listener on a transcendental journey to the outer reaches of reality. 5 tracks in all.

All reviews by Matthew Forss.


Anonymous said...

Out Of Faze was recorded with the On-U sound crew and produced by Adrian Sherwood. Sussan also contributed vocals to records by 2 Bad Card & Doug Wimbish on the On-U Sound label. Both of these are well worth picking up @

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