… “Black and Grey”
If a musician’s creative output is intrinsically linked to the journey that brought them to that point then it is hardly surprising that Discolor Blind offers a mercurial blend of flavours and genres. The journey taken by frontman Askhan Malayeri has taken him from his native Tehran to Cambridge and London and then across the Atlantic to Canada, where he established his own studio and began pulling together all of the ideas that would weave together as his first significant release.
This is as much a showcase for Ashkan’s musical skills, from composition to lyric writing to multi-instrumentalism to production, as it is a suite of songs in its own right. This EP not only connects the dots of his musical learning, but also connects the flavours of the cultures he has lived in and the styles that have influenced him.
‘Long Vivid Dream’ was recorded in Montreal between April 2013 and October 2015. It features vocalist Alexis Nadeau, who Malayeri met through a mutual friend in September 2013. The EP also involves Grammy and Oscar-winning music producer Jeff Bass, best known for his long-term work with Eminem and collaboration with George Clinton.
This EP is laced with the melancholia and angst that crept in from the cold Canadian winters Ashkan now found himself acclimatising to, summing up the myriad textures found on the record. A mix of chilled and measured washes are used as platforms for more intricate sounds from raw guitars and plaintive pianos to pop beats and even sultry jazz grooves.
Building up the songs involved a long and dedicated process, where Askhan plays the core sounds across a variety of instruments and digital methods, many of which are then replaced by other players for the final recording, and vocals added above the tracks. He likened the process to “rebuilding a large cathedral brick by brick”.
“My music is usually score-based so I write the skeleton of the songs as sheet music before even touching my instruments. Once I’m done doing that which is really what makes the song what it really is I dump it on logic and started arranging it…. almost note by note. So I make sure everything and every note is in the right place,” explains Askhan Malayeri. “I try avoiding picking up an instrument and just playing along to the chords… makes for a generic sound which I’m sick of hearing on most people’s music.”
"Long Vivid Dream"
Ashkan Malayeri – electric guitar, bass guitar, drum and synthesizer programming, lyrics