The Retro, The Feminine & Golden Oldies of Armenian Music

Zach Asdourian is the Chief A&R of the Los Angeles-based record label Critique, which released its first Various Artists compilation last February YERAZ [Past, Present and Future Armenian Sounds From Los Angeles To Yerevan]. The majority of his work is between artist management, development and label services, and he came to Yerevan this past month to meet the artists featured on YERAZ and personally dive into the independent music scene in Yerevan. Upon his return to the U.S., he will be packing albums for several Yerevani artists, to release through Critique and also pitch to larger independent labels overseas in order to help introduce these artists to new audiences all over the world.

On the CivilNet balcony, Zach Asdourian played a set consisting mostly of records Zach found here in Yerevan, along with a select few that are from his mom’s and father’s collection. He sought to capture the essence of Yerevan through these songs, and there are several qualities that can be illustrated through the music.

There are remnants of medieval architecture visible from the churches and small residential pockets like Kond, that seem to defy the Soviet buildings erected over the last 50 years. Between these immortal stone structures, there is a new contemporary culture being born from the D-I-Y approach of select individuals and venues. In spite of recent events, the city is still able to provide safe spaces for the future generation of Yerevantsis and a newly inspired diaspora to convene, connect and create.

Zach thinks that the music scene here is young and full of raw talent, but it needs more stewards in order to thrive and grow into the global landscape of the industry.

He will return to Armenia in the Summer to continue working and will return to CivilNet to play from a new album called ‘Yeraz’.

You can stream + pre-order YERAZ on vinyl and follow the work of Zach and his label Critique through the below links: