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Shida Shahabi - Homes LP
Shida Shahabi is a Swedish-Iranian pianist / composer, currently based in Stockholm. The beautiful, intimate and homespun piano of 'Homes' marks Shida's debut release. Each of the album's eight pieces were played on her J.G. Malmsjo piano - a very heavy and good quality Swedish upright from the turn of the 1900s, that had spent the majority of its life stationed in a church in central Stockholm, and was in fantastic shape for its age. There are no whistles and bells attached here, no big name guest performers or hired studio hands. Absolutely beautifully played and composed, it is a deeply charming record that exudes a confident warmth and an emotional depth and honesty in every note. Its production eschews the prioritizing of cleanliness, with a warm, fuzzy noise floor audible from the very first track immediately immersing the listener into this sublime yet imperfect reality - as though the whole existed beneath a layer of dust. It posits comfort over obsessive cleanliness. Living comfortably with traces of wear and decay, the recording makes audible intimate acoustic details and imperfections - creaking and hissing; tiny distortions; the pressure exerted by fingers and feet against the piano's pedals and keys.