Sufi-inspired singer and composer Mentrix who will release her debut album My Enemy, My Love, on April 3rd via her own label House of Strength.
House of Strength is named after traditional Iranian gathering places where men would train in pits to stay strong when the country was occupied by Mongols, in preparation for their liberation. “Women for instance do not train in these places,” explains Samar, “they belong to a patriarchal time that we must still fight.”
The first single & video from the record “Walk” are out today (watch & listen below).
Iranian-born Berlin-based Mentrix- real name Samar Rad – says about the new album: “This album reflects my relationship with the contrasting worlds I lived in, with myself, and all my existential wanderings.”
The title of the album is both a reference to being seen as both an immigrant and a deserter, and to the daf, an iconic percussive instrument originally played in Sufi temples. The daf is the punctuation around Samar’s songwriting – a large hand drum with metal ringlets, its propulsive and trance-like sound has an earth-shaking kick with the sharp clamour of metal. “In Sufism the daf is a calling for the soul to awaken,” explains Samar. “It makes that big sound because it’s empty, and its emptiness means two things: on the lower level someone who is empty and has nothing to offer makes a lot of noise. On a higher level, when you are truly empty of the world the entire universe can resonate within you. It’s the dark side and the bright side of the moon in one instrument.”
Her self-produced music videos are striking cinematic counterparts, offering alternative visions of femininity, and the awe-inspiring landscapes of her home country. “It is very important for me to associate my music with the landscape of Iran,” explains Mentrix. “I am forever attached to my birth place, and my identity and aspirations are very rooted in Iranian culture. Since the West so often portrays Iran in a questionable way, I feel obliged to share its diverse and positive faces to the world.”
My Enemy, My Love track list and artwork:
6. My Enemy, My Love
7. Igneous Sun