Tehran-born Kasra V is now deeply embedded in London music, but never strays far from his roots. Hosting the bi-weekly Paradise show on NTS, he also curates the Balearic playlist for 22Tracks London and his own productions are a melting pot of house, balearic rhythms, synth heavy disco, all with a Middle Eastern edge. While he moved away from Tehran a while ago, his heritage still shines through in work, so we thought he’s a good a person as any to give us a virtual tour round the Iranian capital. Listen below to a mix of dusty old Iranian gems, while you read through a guide to his hometown.
Below you can find an annotated Google Map of Kasra V’s guide to Tehran, accompanied by an explanations of his choices.
Favourite place to find records?
Be great to be able to answer this, but in honesty I found most of my records whilst in Tehran via friends and family…
Best view of the city?
Baam-e- Tehran which means the roof of tehran , you can see the entire city almost underneath you from this place, its a bit high up in the mountains around Tehran.
The place to experience something unique to Tehran?
I would say this has to be the Grand Bazaar of Tehran. It is a historical market that was built a few hundreds of years ago, and still has that touch of the old town. You can find all sorts there.
The first place you miss after leaving Tehran?
Our house back in Tehran where my parents moved into few months before I was born, they still live there and it’s where I grew up my whole life.
Where will you find the friendliest, most interesting locals to have a chat with?
Iranians are super friendly to foreigners in general, but if we’re looking at the most friendly I would say it’s probably those working in the Bazaars. Because they are helpful, they love to chat, and of course they want to sell you something at the same time hahaha.
Best place to see another medium of art other than music?
Tehran’s Museum of Contemporary Art has got to be one of the best, and if you are into museums Golestan Palace is pretty sick too. This palace was made in 1400 and the building is just incredible.
Best local grub?
Nayeb Saei restaurant which is like a semi expensive Kebab restaurant, nowhere else can top their food. There should be more of these in the world.
Is there a person (dead or alive) who encapsulates Tehran for you?
My dad’s best friend, who we all refer to as uncle (as you do to everyone that is good friends with your dad in the Middle East!) He smokes cuban cigars sometimes, and has quite a YOLO look on life, something infectious.
Could you tell us a little about the mix you made for us? Was there a particular side of Tehran you were trying to portray? Are there any tracks that hold a particular resonance to you in relation to your upbringing in Tehran?
This mix was recorded in my bedroom a few weeks ago on my home setting. As I haven’t been back home for few years, it’s quite hard for me to find out about people who make any interesting material in Tehran right now, because I’m so far removed. I know of quite a few Iranians outside of Iran who’re doing interesting stuff though. For this mix I decided to do an old-school mix of mainly 70s records that I used to hear around when I was growing up. It has a very nostalgic vibe for me, plus there are one or two edits by myself that I’ve been playing around with.
What do you think are some common misconceptions about Tehran music culture?
It’s very different to Arabian music, quite similar to Turkish, but I feel Turkish music in general is more laidback than Iranian music.
What would you like people to know about Tehran music, if they’re not already familiar?
Almost 99% of all Iranian songs is about love and/or lust. They’re all stories.
Who are some of your favourite up-and-coming musicians/artists coming out of Tehran right now?
As I mentioned before I feel a little out of touch with the scene there, but there are few Iranian outside Iran who are causing a stir at the moment. Ash Koosha, Lafawndah and Sevdaliza have all been doing some brilliant things, all quite different to what I do but I enjoy what they are doing 🙂
And finally, what’s on the horizon for you, towards the end of the year?
I am just finishing my masters which I’m really looking forward to get it done. Music wise, I have just nearly finished another EP so need to start thinking about putting it out when that’s all finished. I also have some good gigs lined up including starting a new series of LIPS (Love In Public Spaces) parties so keep an eye out for that one .
For more city guides on Stamp The Wax, check out the links below:
Mndsgn presents LA
Lefto presents Brussels
Gantz presents Istanbul
Project Pablo presents Vancouver
Ptaki presents Warsaw
Eddy Ramich presents Zagreb
Paradise Bangkok presents Bangkok
Bakradze presents Tbilisi
Phil Gerus presents Moscow