Vizier of Damascus is the artist and DJ name of Arfan Munir-Rai. He has released a number of albums on various labels.
His first official release ‘Badshahi’ for Rednetic Recordings received wide interest across the electronic community and provoked a positive review from the acclaimed themilkfactory.
There is a strong eastern ambiance within his music. The music seems to draw inspiration from Arfan’s eastern roots which originate in Central Asia, Persia and Arabia with a strong focus on Religion, Mysticism and Philosophy.
His output is varied. At times there is a strong lo-fi hiphop edge to his music recalling field recordings, warm, scratchy, grainy dream-like images. He programmes inAlgol, Cobolt, Basic and with more recent releases - PureData - a sister program of MaxMSP.
Like eastern music, his recording process seems less driven by linear principles, and more by content driven narrative. There is a strong sense of story and cryptic plot- comparisons with Boards of Canada, cLOUDDEAD, Casino V Japan et al. come to mind.
At times, the music can be challenging, drawing upon sound design. Electroacoustic works exhibit a strong sense for driving percussion.
Arfan utilises a wide array of analog synths, employing analog drum machines and samplers. He makes no secret that he enjoys sampling. An indication of early hiphop influence and DJ background.
He plays the Dulcimer, Tombak and Piano. He also uses techniques deriven from televisual engineering.
Sound design projects have included Channel4 Films, ChalkFace Acoustic Learning Resources, Globe Trekker, Discovery Channel, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT), British based Nature/Ecology organisations, and documentaries for Middle Eastern and Central Asian television.
Other aliases include 'Yemn' and 'Bukhara Kites.'
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