Mixtape 78 by Reza Athar


With our August mix we are proud to introduce Reza Athar, DJ and co-founder of Horizon party series in the Netherlands. Focussing on Persian Funk and Rangarang he brings you back to Iran of the 70s. Please read below the little questionnaire, where Reza gives advice on record collecting and visiting Persia. Even though he is a known figure that played all over Europe he seems to be super grounded and committed to his profession. This exclusive compilation is filled with funky upbeat jams, at times very melancholic due to bluesy sequences. A lot of gems you probably haven’t heard before. One song even has a bunch of gun shots and horse riding noises in it. Which pays due to Mr. Athar’s claim to play „moods rather than genres.“


How is life in the Netherlands, respectively Nijmegen? Are you (also) melancholic or nostalgic in these days with the proper clubs shut down?
Well, club wise it’s looking pretty depressing. The clubs are closed until further notice, while other outdoor venues and entertainment spaces have the permit to open under restrictions. As a matter of a bitter fact, one of the highly recommended clubs, De School, in Amsterdam shut it’s doors because of the virus last week and I think it’s just a matter of time till other clubs will have to shut the doors as well. The Dutch government had been helpful and constructive to almost every sector except the music scene. The clubs are being demonized as potential outbreak areas for the second wave. But I think that’s a global thing with clubs and music venues.

When did you start DJing? Has it always been about moods rather than genres?
More than 10 years ago I started DJing after I annoyed every DJ I know with my vision of how they should DJ and which records they should play. A friend of mine named Niels taught me the technical skills. Till then I didn’t have any technical knowhow about playing music and mixing, but as soon I started practicing I loved the feeling of connecting the tracks with each other and let them sing a long. I always tried to have an open mind when it comes to music, the only rule I had when it came to collecting and buying music was that I wanted to sound fresh after ten years. I wanted to place the music I played outside the zeitgeist in order to keep it interesting for myself. That may sound a bit arrogant, but I was listening to my first recorded online mix this week and I still would play all of the tracks that I have included in that mix.


Do you have a personal connection to Persian music, especially Persian Funk?
Of course, it was the soundtrack of my childhood. It’s the sound of my first musical memories. It was played in our house, but also in the houses of my family and relatives. So yeah, it’s the soundtrack of my time in Iran. Persian music that’s interesting for me was made around the 70s and in that time most of the artists were heavily influenced by funk and rock ‘n roll with a Persian signature. The artists from that era were played in our house quite often. So yeah, the connection with the Persian music of the 70s it’s strong and has shaped me a lot.

Is there an absolute favorite tune of yours?
Not one specific, but everything from Kourosh Yaghmaei, Fereydoon Fouroghi, Hayedeh, Ebi, Zia, Shamaeezadeh from the 70s will do the magic for me.

Any tips and recommendations on DJ’ing or vinyl collecting for our listeners?
The only tip that I have is not to listen to tips from others and try to create your own path and adventure in the musical landscape. Especially right now, where there is so much to find. Find the music that touches you the most and let it inspire and shape you as an artist. As long as you are getting excited about it. You will start to see a common thread after a couple of years of collecting music and will get more secure about your chosen path. Stay away from the hypes, but pick the elements that are interesting to you and let them translate into your own style.


Do you also produce?
Nope, never been attracted to that part, because I feel there are so many amazing producers around and I don’t feel like contributing to that.

Have you been to Iran often?
Twice after I came as a refugee 22 years ago. It’s still the most amazing country in the world. With the best food, landscapes and amazing humanitarians. I feel like a tourist guide, but if things start to look safe again with Covid, don’t hesitate to visit Iran. It will surprise you in every imaginable sense.

01. Habib – Marde Tanhaye Shab
02. Hassan Shamaeezadeh – Safar
03. Mehrpouya – Ghabileye Leyli
04. Fereydoon Fouroghi – Hogheh
05. Kourosh Yaghmaei – Entezar
06. Zia – Ringo
07. Shahram Shabpareh – Diar
08. Betti – Daram Ashegh Misham
09. Shohreh – To Ke Nisti
10. Hayedeh – Ravi
11. Homeira – Alame Eshgh
12. Mazyar – Malamat
13. Ebi – Milad
14. Marjan – Kavir-e Del
15. Sattar – Shazdeh Khanoom

Introduction jingle by Harmony Horizon
Portrait by Raymond van Mil
Artwork by Mylo Mark, taken from The Crashing of Landscape I
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