Album Review: Ya Tosiba – Love Party [Asphalt Tango]

Think of two places culturally and geographically distant like Finland and Azerbaijan and let their flavours blend. Mix together, shake well and there you have Ya Tosiba, the Berlin-based duo that merges the raw electronic sounds of Finnish skwee pioneer Mesak with the cryptic hypnotic voice of Norwegian-Azerbaijani singer Zuzu Zakaria.

Love Party – released on 9 June by Asphalt Tango – is their first full-length album and it’s an unexpected blend of sounds, cultural influences and stories of everyday life in the streets of Azerbaijan’s capital Baku.

Their sound is new, yet familiar – a contemporary interpretation of eastern musical tradition. “Keçi”, the opening track, immediately drags us in to a state of trance, the eastern legacy emerging in tracks like “Qurban Gelir” and “Love Party” where raw synths deputise violins, setars and lutes with melodies reminiscent of traditional Persian and Arabic music.

Ya Tosiba are indeed unique. Their music is an inimitable blend of great ingredients with Zuzu Zakaria’s unique voice, Mesak’s finest production and a load of willingness to experiment with both.