Irfan is a Bulgarian world music & neoclassical darkwave band. The name of the band is borrowed from the Sufi terminology and can be translated from Persian and Arabic as "gnosis", "mystic knowledge" or "revelation" (see Irfan). 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 darkwave/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. Similar in style to established bands such as Dead Can Dance, Sarband, and Vas, Irfan uses ethereal and mystic female vocals in addition with strong male vocals and choirs in combination with an assortment of various traditional and medieval string, wind and percussive instruments including the oud, saz, tambura, santoor, kaval, duduk, viola da gamba, darbouka, daf, bodhran, bendir, 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". Irfan's debut (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 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 three songs for the soundtrack of the Bulgarian movie "Forecast". Between 2006 and 2009 Irfan worked with another female vocalist, the Bulgarian traditional (folklore) singer Vladislava Vasileva, who replaced Denitza Seraphimova and with whom the band performed live during this period. More 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, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Poland, Lithuania, Austria and Bulgaria.
A new album, originally scheduled for April of 2014, will be released in October 2014.
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