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Electronic world fusion group Niyaz were founded in Los Angeles in 2004 by Iranian refugees Azam Ali (formerly of Vas) and Loga Ramin Torkian (founder of Axiom of Choice), along with American producer/engineer Carmen Rizzo. Their self-titled 2005 debut album on Six Degrees Records introduced their sound combining Persian and Urdu lyrics derived from Sufi poetry with hypnotic electronic beats and traditional Middle Eastern and Indian instrumentation. Sophomore album Nine Heavens followed in 2008, and included a second disc of acoustic performances of the same songs. Third album Sumud arrived in 2012, featuring a guest appearance by famed Indian composer A.R. Rahman and containing lyrics in Arabic, Kurdish, and Turkish. An EP of acoustic versions, originally intended to be released along with Sumud, appeared in 2013. During the same year, Carmen Rizzo announced his departure from Niyaz. The group, now based in Montreal, released The Fourth Light in 2015. ~ Paul Simpson