ALBUM REVIEW - SONGLINES
Gahambar offers up the most enticing amalgamation of each performer's talents. Ehsaei's gloriously mystical soundscapes open up into claustrophobic drum patterning and an oddly joyous trumpet line. By the end of its 12 minutes the track is positively carnivalesque. Ariwo contains some esoteric combinations, yet the experimentation on show is intriguing, provocative and exciting to listen to.
ALBUM REVIEW - THE WIRE
The group's interplay is formidably integrated, and across four long tracks the rhythm players explore a sonic terra incognita guided only by a hypnotic and dubwise focus on forward motion.
Pouya Ehsaei Linecheck Interview - Griot
Together with Hammadi Valdes, Oreste Noda and Yelfris Valdes you are merging Iranian mysticism with Afro-Cuban traditional rhythms and electronic sounds, and the final result is so harmonious and spontaneous. How hard did you work to achieve this result? Was it immediate? Were there sounds that initially prevailed more than others?
ALBUM OF THE WEEK - TWISTED SOUL
It’s a record full of brilliant ideas all cleverly exceuted that marks Ariwo out as one of the most exciting underground acts of the moment. A truly original debut album.
ARIWO ALBUM REVIEW - BLEEP
Ariwo drop a self-titled EP of deepest journeying dub house styles [...] a bold, standout statement with some high-def drum work with a raw edge. Deep as you wanna go!
ARIWO ALBUM REVIEW - JUNO
These four tracks on this debut album originated from live jams, where mazy trumpet lines and rolling hand percussion wrap themselves around Ehsaei's intricate, rumba-influenced drum machine programming. It's a blueprint that results in music that's often rhythmically dense and hypnotic, but also haunting, melancholic and strangely intoxicating.
ARIWO ALBUM REVIEW - EVENING STANDARD
This fine debut album offers a snapshot of their singular sound, with four long-playing tracks connecting age-old rhythms with electronica in real time and beyond: a sample of an Iranian oud melody, wielded by producer/composer Pouya Ehsaei, is layered over beats.
ARIWO ALBUM REVIEW - RHYTHM PASSPORT
This is music that truly challenges our notion as to how cultural and ancestral music should sound. It is a challenging fusion of familiar sounds, colliding to an unfamiliar effect. One is both transfixed and bound to listen and compelled to jump around at the same time. ‘Ariwo’ means noise in Yoruba- and what a stunning noise it is too.
'MANANA//CUba' at the BARBICAN IN RESIDENT ADVISOR
"A Cuban-Iranian collaboration based in London, they had two drummers on either side of the stage, a wiry-haired man behind a bank of machines and a trumpeter up front. Their fusion of processed vocals, live Afro-Cuban rhythms and jazzy trumpet solos was an instant success, each track spinning out with a psychedelic edge.
'MEET Cuba's YOUNG ARTISTS' IN PITCHFORK
"Their set simmered to an intensity as they wrapped the theater in somber Iranian electronic melodies that vibrated with elements of rumba. Ehsaei processed the three players’ instruments live into a simmering soundscape that was paralyzing and moving all at once."
Manana Festival Review on WBEZ Chicago
"This combination of UK and Cuban musicians is going to blow up enormously"
RHYTHM PASSPORT'S LA LINEA FESTIVAL Review
"There are seamless moments when the predominant Afro-Cuban flavours are mixed with melodic Iranian female vocals and Oud, all enveloped in a downtempo, acid house cocoon."
Resident Advisor's HIGHLIGHT of Manana//CUBA 2016
"Ariwo is a Cuban/Iranian quartet that sounds like Shackleton stranded on a desert island."
INTERVIEW WITH SOUNDS & COLOURS
"The project’s original aim was to connect the island’s rich musical tradition with the electronic music community, but there was nothing really out there that embodied exactly what we felt that could sound like. In many ways Ariwo was our response"