It's interesting (at least to me), Azerbaijan
is a real country located in one of the oldest cultural centers in the world. Originally when I thought up the name and then hastily wrote it down in my notebook, I had no idea it already existed. Incidentally over a decade later when I finally bothered to look it up, I discovered that it was practically the physical incarnation of the very spirit I was attempting to capture. Namely, an intensely Arabesque, One Thousand and One Nights
a.k.a. The Arabian Nights
, The Thief of Bagdad
, type universe; one magical and alive with fantastical Persian folklore and all the mysticism of the far East.
Although it probably won't be of much interest to anyone besides myself, the sub-universe of Azerbaijan probably predates Neotoy itself. There's no way to be certain because it was cooked up during the same time period, circa 1994-1997. It's quite possible that I was working on them both at the same time. Just an interesting piece of trivia. I only have one distinctly vivid memory from that time regarding Azerbaijan – A palm, a sacred pool, cobalt blue and terracotta tiles, a jet black minaret.
Many times over the years I've attempt to put the feelings inspired by those images into words. This is where they will all go.