Atash as they see it

“Flexing sinewy rhythms, Atash are at the forefront of ATX’s vibrant world music scene.”
–Margaret Moser, SXSW Festival preview

“Austin’s premier world music ensemble!”  “Austin’s best-kept secret!”
–Austin Chronicle

“Atash is comprised of so many musical talents. The list of talents reads like the United Nations! The band members shared their unique journey with members’ origins stretching from the Persian Gulf to Mexico, to Uzbekistan, to Bengal and the U.S., with all points leading to Austin, Texas.Together they bring a world alchemy that feeds their original sound.”
–Jeannie Hopper, WBAI Clocktower Radio, NYC

“Atash’s members are seekers of love’s eternal mysteries from a more spiritual plane. Connecting South Asian, Middle Eastern, and North and West African motifs with the rock-jazz realm, these globally minded Austinites have the fire-and-ice thing down pat. Their soul-center is Mohammad Firoozi, whose gruffly ecstatic Farsi vocals yearn with an unquenchable thirst.”
Tom Cheyney, LA Weekly

“All of the musicians are simply incredible and make what they do seem incredibly easy (when it isn’t). It was simply the most impressive thing I’ve recently seen and heard.”
–blogger William Helms, The Joy of Violent Movement (NYC)

“Atash means fire in Farsi — and they’ve been burning their way through Taiwan!”
–Ron Brownlow, Taipei Times

“To describe the experience would be to limit it, for no musical genre exists which could encapsulate the concept of Atash, the fusion of sounds yielding something completely unknown but at the same time strangely familiar.  It was impossible to resist the seduction of the rhythms and melodies of this multicultural project. The show began with an explosion of virtuosity that left the public breathless, a perfect sense of harmony, an authentic universal rhythm that needed no translation.  Deafening applause became an exhilarating constant throughout the entire show — without a doubt the festival organizers had saved the best for last, Atash!”
–Ricardo Pereda, El Siglo de Durango (México)

“In a time ripe with fusion revolution, Atash stands out among the ranks with a powerful and original sound.”
—AC, Metro Santa Cruz (CA)

“Atash now leads the way in promoting the exploration of various global disciplines in music.”
–Damon Williams, Feedback Magazine

“Atash’s musical power is unlike anything you’ll hear!”
–David Momphard, Taipei Times

“Atash’s approach to life is like their music: divine.”
–David Lynch, review of SXSW performance, Austin Chronicle

Reviews of the Album Everything Is Music

Midwest Record

ATASH/Everything is Music

What would world beat from Austin sound like if Latin music wasn’t in the mix? Well, this. Mixing Middle East and Indian vibes with rock, jazz and blues sensibilities, this crew does a fine job of approximating what would have gone on if Paul Battlefield hung out at a belly dance bar on Chicago’s west side back in the day. Got that? This is a zesty, well played set where the musos have the Mixmaster turned up high but the result is anything but a brown mush. Wild stuff for the open eared of any age looking for a world beat kick that gets it’s message across even if you don’t know what they are talking about. Check it out. Did we mention they even got Fareed Haque to stop by?


EVERYTHING IS MUSIC (Self-published)
Here’s a band that takes the potpourri approach to the music of the world, combining as they do members from India, Africa and the Americas. Based in Austin, Texas which is known for country, folk and Latin music, Atash feels more at home with flamenco, reggae, jazz, rock and Indian classical music. Their name comes from the Persian word for “Fire” and refers to Zoroastrianism, the pre-Islamic religion of sun-worshippers. Another classical reference is in the album’s title which comes from Rumi, the 13th-century Sufi poet. Just as fire is one aspect of the life force, music is the essence of our being. Individuals bring musical ideas to the group then everyone throws in what they want — the result is a blend of all their backgrounds. I thought I would be turned off by this but the blend of oud and sitar works, and the rhythms, whether Middle Eastern, African, or Other, are all well-suited to the tune at hand. The singer, Mohammad Firoozi, grew up in rural Iran. He led the call to prayer at the village mosque but secretly listened to Western rock ‘n’ roll broadcast from Kuwait on his dad’s radio. He would sing in pidgin English in clubs in Shiraz to crowds who didn’t understand him, and now, decades later, he sings in Farsi in Texas, again to an uncomprehending audience! His “Amshab” reminds me of ONB, it has a wonderful dubby bass ‘n’ drums and then the oud and strings (on Echoplex) take us back to the Grand Bazaar. I like this because it sounds authentic, it’s not a bunch of posers playing afrobeat, but people from divergent cultures coming together and sharing their joy of music. They worked on the album for over three years, writing new pieces and revising old ones. You can tell a lot of thought and effort went into it. The qawwali number, “Baaraan,” is a stand-out with tablas and handclaps, then bandleader Roberto Riggio comes in on mournful violin behind Firoozi working out on the vocals.

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