Covid-19 is dangerously impacting the social-economic category of musicians. No concerts, poor political and social consideration, uncertain earnings. As a consequence, an ever-growing number of musicians, especially those from the experimental area, are trying to promote their music on BandCamp in digital format only. It is increasingly difficult for me to follow and review this incredible flow of music. I therefore decided to open this section on my blog Neuguitars where I propose music in digital format that I consider particularly interesting and worthy of attention. I hope you like it. Let’s support musicians. They need it.
Azerbaijani Gitara by Rüstəm Quliyev, Bandcamp , 2020 on #neuguitars #blog
Rüstəm Quliyev was born in 1969 in the village of Kosalar, Nagorno Karabakh. At the age of seven he had already mastered the tar before moving on to play the saz. He first encountered guitar during his military service for the USSR in Russia and quickly made a name for himself as a guitarist after returning to Azerbaijan. During the early 1990s, after years of intense fighting, he had to flee his home due to the conflict in Karabakh and settled in the capital city Baku. There his guitar playing took on a new character. He played at weddings, made TV appearances, and recorded numerous cassettes with small local labels.
Rüstəm’s guitar playing not only drew on the rich traditional music of Azerbaijan but his thirst and passion for music also meant that he incorporated styles from across the globe into his repertoire: from Bollywood disco tunes and Afghan pop songs to Iranian street melodies and Spanish flamenco. He crafted a unique sound within an already idiosyncratic subculture of Azerbaijani electric guitar music. Sadly, his career was brought to a sudden end in 2005 after a short battle with lung cancer. His music, however, lives on remaining popular throughout the country.
This release of archival recordings, produced in collaboration with Rüstəm Quliyev’s family and Moutains of Tongues, marks the first international release of this guitar legend’s music.
released September 18, 2020
Selections from the archives of Rüstəm Quliyev
Recorded between 1999-2004 in Azerbaijan
Research & Liner notes by Ben Wheeler and Stefan Williamson Fa
Analog Mastering by Tim Stollenwerk
Artwork by Félicité Landrivon
Artistic Supervision by Cyril Yeterian
Vinyl Cut by Adi Flück
Special Thanks to Vasif Javadli and the Quliyev Family, Ben
Wheeler and Stefan Williamson Fa at Mountain of Tongues