Ya Tosiba are a Berlin based band connecting raw, funky synthetic rhythms with female vocals. Formed in Finland in 2010 it is a collaboration between Norwegian-Azerbaijani Zuzu Zakaria and Finnish skweee pioneer Tatu Metsätähti aka Mesak. Mixing old street poetry traditions from Azerbaijan with underground electronic beats their sound is inspired by classical Arabic and Persian music, Scandinavian electronic traditions and hip hop - a raw blend of analog synthesizers, DIY elements and unpolished sounds, heavy electronic beats mixed with traditional instruments and rounded off by Zuzu's hypnotic vocals.
Lending a voice to voiceless civilians from the street corners of suburban Baku in Azerbaijan, their first album “Love Party” released in 2017 on Asphalt Tango Records is, in part, an audio documentation of the conditions of marginalized people.
Using a hybrid of Russian, modern Turkish and strong Baku dialects, the vocals of "Love Party" are drawn from texts originating in the genre known as meykhana, an ancient local tradition and part of the wedding culture in and around Baku where ‘meykhana acts’ are booked for festive audiences consisting exclusively of men.
The word ‘meykhana’ is translated from the Persian for ‘wine house’: the gatherings where it is performed – called ‘meykhana medjlis’ – are Sufi get-togethers and places for religious chanting in Islamic literature.
The texts chosen for “Love Party” attempt to describe resistance – no matter whether it is part of an imperialist past, of low and high local statuses or current stereotypes, combining these texts with slightly more Western-style musical compositions.