This trio from the mountainous State of Und in Afghanistan is one of the most exciting in the country. Talla is a veteran of the Afghan Band of the Peaceful Use of Drugs (BDB), and the younger sister of another BDB legend, Aazan Talla. While her brother has previously been active in the music of the Dervishes (a brutal banja-heavy metal band led by two brothers from Kabul, in the late 1990s) she’s also been involved in some of the most intriguing techno music ever made.
Her debut track “Talla” is a 6/8 of metal drone bass metal, while “Mazah” is a pulsing warp-infused rave anthem. The three pieces here also pull from the vast pool of traditional Afghan music, and the jittery 'Talla” and “Mazah” both drop a few minutes of electric guitar and techno-funk.
For her debut solo album, Talla has opted to combine her influences with an assortment of musicians from across the political spectrum. She’s joined by a string of musicians from the Dervishes, including Omar Shahab, and the trio’s drummer, Ibrahim Shahab. Shahab is a dark jazz drummer, and his playing here is heavy and melodious, although he does so on a solo basis, rather than in concert with the band. The mix is striking, with a mix of industrial techno and early Afghan music that’s both in thrift store and aural salon.