For Fans of: Arca, Flying Lotus, Autechre
A longtime fixture in the Iranian underground rock scene, Ashkan Kooshanejad fled Tehran for London after playing a role in director Bahman Ghobadi's No One Knows About Persian Cats, fearing for his safety once the authorities began arresting and beating participants in the 2009 Cannes-lauded film. After winning asylum in the U.K., Kooshanejad, who had already been recording film soundtracks, began work on the intriguingly unpredictable electronic compositions that he would release as Ash Koosha. A well-received debut, GUUD, attracted the attention of the electronic label Ninja Tune, which released an even more daring follow-up, I AKA I, in April. Befitting the futuristic bent of Ash Koosha's sound, a virtual reality companion to the new album will be displayed on Oculus Rift headsets this year.