Irfan is a Bulgarian band founded in 2001 in Sofia. The band's name is taken from the Arabic/Persian word "Irfan", meaning "gnosis", "mystic knowledge" or "revelation".
Though similar in style to established bands such as Dead Can Dance, Love Is Colder Than Death, Sarband, and Vas, Irfan is known for its extensive use of a choir of male singers in addition to the female vocals of Vladislava Todorova, and in in combination with an assortment of traditional mediaeval percussion, stringed, and wind instruments, including the darbouka, daf, bendir, oud, saz, santoor, ghaida, duduk ,and bass viol. Irfan's music and reliance on traditional instruments is based on a blend of the musical influences common to Bulgaria, and thus represents a blend of European medieval music, Balkan folk and Middle Eastern styles.
The band was first signed by the French label Prikosnovénie and made its first appearance on their "Fairy World" compilation of various bands in 2003. Their first album "Irfan" was released in Europe that same year by Prikosnovénie, and released in North America by Noir Records. Some of the songs released on recent compilations were not included on Irfan's debut release.
The band released their second album, "Seraphim" in October 2007.
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