Barobax - “Wag”

M4 Records
2007 (1386)

For those of you who are like myself not up to date with the latest slang and youth lingo in Iran “barobax” simply is a hip variation of “baro bachehaa”! The Iran-based trio adopting the slang as group name appeared five years ago around the same time as Bia2 with their underground music online, and the veteran visitors surely recall their use of folklore rhymes on TECHNO music in songs such as "Gholi o Baba Ali". After that their fellow Iran-based artist Bahador Kharazmi, another name that was presented on Bia2 at the time, managed to sign a record deal with AVANG the boys of BAROBAX too got on the same track which has today led to a release on the related label M4 records. BAROBAX have naturally resumed their covering and mixing on their debut album as well, though this time focusing on Western artist’s songs. The contributors are Khashayar, Keivan, Moshtagh and Hamid and although the presentation of credits for the covered songs on the cover is least said messy and “technically” crazy (they have declared the composer/original artist as original mixer and themselves as composers) at least the names of the originals have all been mentioned somehow and not left out as in most cases! The album entitled "Wag" features 10 tracks.

The album opens with "Dokhtar Pesar", a cover on last year's big Euro-HIT "Kylie", tribute to the lovely Kylie Minogue by the Romanian POP act AKCENT! I love the charming original even though its vocally and grammatically not the strongest song, unfortunately BAROBAX' version enjoys an even weaker lyrics and even worse vocal performance!

Next comes another cover, this time on Toofun's timeless and infinitely remade HIT "Khodaaye Aasemoonha". The PROGRESSIVE arrangement is lovely and its good that the lyrics have been kept to a minimum considering the boys' weaknesses in performing! an enjoyable track.

"Man Mikhaam" is a euphoric Euro-TECHNO/POP fare with a high BPM and a PARADE feeling!

Already time for the third cover and this time its the LATIN STAR Juanes' "La Camisa Negra" as "Beverly Hills". The song is a decent FLOOR-FILLER with a nice "Daddy DJ" inspired animated video showing some of our veteran singers in action! hehe!

The Bahador Kharazmi style of 6/8 and CLUB kicks in "Bezaar"! A song which should have kept its lyrics to a minimum while the chorus doesn't work for the track at all!

"Shervin" and its PROGRESSIVE EURO flavour remind of the songs the boys once started with, though with a modern twist! the unisexual name "Shervin" stands namely for the clueless and careless youths of today's Iran.

Next comes a JEAN M. JARRE-spirited AMBIENT ELECTRONICA fare for your astral satisfaction! The song "Aadamaa" is loosely reminiscent of Googoosh song with the same name! This song is the best on the album in terms of featuring just enough vocal performance by the boys. Preferably instrumental but even this works fine!

If you are a veteran Bia2 visitor then you surely remember the TECHNO remix of the TV-series Noghtechin's character Bamshad's song "Bivafaayi"! Although not the same song but "Bivafaa" reminds very much of that popular mix! My favourite track on the album and a clever video.

"Wag", the title-track, is a HARDGROOVE HOUSE featuring a female vocalist who knows how to sing for a change! The only track with a decent vocal performance. I really like this one! Wish the rest of the album enjoyed a similar constellation!

And the album ends with BAROBAX' own REMIX of Kasa's "Stay", nice work!

BAROBAX know how to produce good and PROGRESSIVE MUSIC but they are nowhere near the same level when it comes to lyrics and most importantly singing! The contradiction in the quality of these features and skills is so huge that it drags down the overall experience and value of the album! In my opinion the guys should have either delivered the album completely instrumentally or featured guest vocalists on the songs. Cause while the singing or better said "mumbling" was enough for the old rhyme remakes of the past its not even remotely adequate for vocal tracks of this nature and calibre. So I hope to see more of BAROBAX as musicians and producers than singing artists, even tongue-in-cheek singing! As you might have seen already BAROBAX have also started branching out in the music video direction with their animated music videos even for up-n-coming artists and it seems like they are a bunch of creative multitask artists! But sometimes less is more and hopefully they'll realise where their strength lies and start to focus their energy and time to refine those particular skills instead of splitting in all sorts of distracting directions!

Note: Special thanks to Amir!

Overall Performance: +
Artistic Ambition: ++
Commercial Potential: -
Technical Quality: +
Aesthetic Presentation: +
Ethical Adherence: ++
[ +++ > --- ]

Review by: Pourya E.

Reviews described herein are mere opinions, and must be construed in that manner only! In other words they are not absolute!