I just ran across this band on YouTube. Here are a couple songs I liked. I didn't like everything they had done though. Under the videos I have copied some info from their MySpace page. – DG
Irfan is a Bulgarian World Music & Ethereal Wave band. Its name is borrowed from the Sufi terminology and can be translated from Persian and Arabic as “gnosis”, “mystic knowledge” or “revelation”. Irfan’s music is an invitation for a mystical trip in and beyond time, a message, poetically extended in the language of the heart. World reviews are hesitant about the genre categorization of Irfan’s music, determining it as Neoclassical / World Music / Sacred Music / Ethereal Wave / Heavenly voices. Indeed Irfan’s music is a World Fusion and it is strongly influenced by the sacred and folk music traditions of Bulgaria, the Balkans, Persia, Caucasus, the Middle East and North Africa, as well as by the musical and spiritual heritage of Byzantium and Medieval Europe, yet it retains its own original sound. The musicians use traditional (Bulgarian, Balkan, Oriental, Persian, Indian) and medieval European instruments and vocal techniques woven into a delicate electronic dark ambient sound. Irfan is also known for its extensive use of ethereal and mystic female vocals in addition to strong male vocals and choirs in combination with an assortment of various traditional and medieval string, wind and percussive instruments including the oud, saz, santoor, viola da gamba, tambura, kaval, duduk, nay, darbouka, daf, bodhran, zarb and riq.
Irfan was founded in 2001 as a side project of musicians from Bulgarian bands like “Isihia”, “Kayno Yesno Slonce ”, “Om” and “Zarathustra”, but soon it became a new, independent and promising music team. The band was first signed by the French label “Prikosnovénie” and made its debut appearance on “Prikosnovénie”'s Fairy World compilation of various medieval and heavenly voices bands in 2003. “Prikosnovénie” declared the Bulgarians as the “discovery and revelation for 2004”. Ifran's debute (self-titled) album was also released in Europe that same year by "Prikosnovénie", and released in North America by “Noir Records” in 2005. In November 2007 Irfan released its second album ("Seraphim") for the French label “Prikosnovénie” simultaneously in Europe and in North America (through the US label “Noir Records”). Several compilations released during the past years include rare and unreleased songs by Irfan, which appeared along with tracks by artists like Loreena Mckennitt, Stellamara, Qntal and Estampie.
In 2008 Irfan created a soundtrack for the Bulgarian documentary “The Great Heresy” (dedicated to the history of the Medieval European heresies like the Bulgarian and Byzantine “Bogomils” and the Southern-French “Cathars”) released recently by the Bulgarian TV Channel bTV.
In 2009 the band released 3 songs for the soundtrack of the Bulgarian movie "Forecast".
Between 2006 and 2009 Irfan worked with other female vocalists - the Bulgarian traditional (folklore) singer Vladislava Vasileva and Petya Urumova who replaced Denitza Seraphimova and with whom the band performed live during this period.
Recently Irfan is working again with its original singer Denitza Seraphimova.
From 2003 until now Irfan toured and performed live in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Poland, Lithuania, Austria and Bulgaria.
I've never been too fond of the ethereal/mystical undertones of this kind of 'New Age World Music', but they could have done much worse than that. Of the 3 above, Simurgh is my favorite. But I still like Ivo Papasov better ;-)
I like some of it, if it is done well, and if it is on the darker side. I don't know much about this band, as I just ran across them on YouTube. Some of what they created did not appeal to me. I have one CD with one Ivo Papasov song, but he is not my favorite.