The BBC is carrying this piece about Iranian pop band Arian. According to the piece they’re the first officially sanctioned mixed gender pop group to come out of Iran.

We actually picked up one of their albums while in Iran and I listened to it a fair bit. Their music is an interesting mix of traditional Iranian elements and some synth sounds, but let me unsatisfied. Mixing two such different musical cultures is a tricky business and there certainly wasn’t the maturity of, say, Talvin Singh. It was, dare I say, a little cheesy.

That aside, it is interesting to hear that the band are touring Europe and it is one more piece of evidence that there is more to the Iranian cultural landscape than a repressive government and the odd world-beating film.

You can find the band’s official website featuring audio and video clips here. After completing their European tour, they’ll be doing some North American dates in early 2005.

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