Straz is the solo project of Sami Strazimiri, based in Brussels, Belgium.
After his Master's degree in classical guitar and Bachelor's degree in music composition at the Conservatoire Royal of Mons, StraZ is coming back to the European capital to develop his new musical project and shape the outlines of his universe: a sometimes crepuscular and organic electronic music, an intense and rhythmic atmosphere coloured by the dreamy soarings of his guitar. It sits somewhere between the universe of Rone, the intensity of Moderat and the landscapes without borders of Bonobo.
Except for a few vocal belgian collaborations (UNA, King Maduka), StraZ is flourishing in purely instrumental music that lets him sublimate his anger and his frustrations in redeeming energy. Sensitive to inequalities in our occidental societies, StraZ injects in his songs a subtle narration using intense contrasts, from raging drops to suspended moments. Police violence, violence towards women and racism are as many subjects that engage and affect this artist who's as passionate about cinema as he is about novels and essays reading.
His first EP, Let's Spell it Out (2020, self-released) published at the very beginning of the lockdown, oscillates radically between academic music and dark vibes, invested collaborations. The cultural activities being put on hold and disturbing the year's plans, StraZ seized the opportunity to organise the #lockdownremixchallenge, during which he did a dozen of remixes from artists that should have offered shows in Belgium back then.
Insatiable creator, he starts composing again in a more undertaken style. In 2021, he released a new single, Missing Tambourine, which is an electronic, pressing, and uncompromising piece of music. It has a positive and liberating vibe created after the recent passing of his grandmother.
In 2023, StraZ will release his first EP on Tempest of Noise: It's Okay To Be Mad.
This new record started with long moments of introspection. First confinement, then a second one. And amongst it, a lot of anger: crisis management, a divided society, the ongoing climate crisis, #metoo & #BlackLivesMatters still being all over the internet. The world is filled with anger. What to do with all this?
StraZ's answer: to welcome it, to embrace it. No more greenwashing, personal development courses, "OK boomer" remarks, and quick fixes. Anger is a healthy emotion if you take it as a starting point to instigate change. It can allow you to build new things to create Art in a meaningful way.
StraZ used this energy to compose this 6-track EP, illustrating the different aspects of anger: its origins, expressions, and consequences. Read as a single text, the various tracks of the EP give us a glimpse of the meaning of his approach: Let's open it before I fall. If I'm refraining, I'm gonna lose it. It's okay to be mad... And now, what?
With this release, StraZ offers a deep, intense and organic musical landscape, somewhere between Jon Hopkins, Rone and Moderat. The whole EP is powerful and aims to take you into a cathartic dimension when played live.