Posts Tagged ‘Turkish Psych’

Altın Gün

Since the phrase Netherlands based Turkish rock band doesn’t tumble out of your mouth every day, it perks up the ears when one hears it. Following their formidable debut, On Altın Gün bumps up the label chain to ATO for a follow up that’s expanding on their excavation of the Anatolian rock canon. They continue to take inspirational swipes at the venerated catalogs of Erkin Koray and Selda, but the band begins to shift from their ‘60s rooted sounds while bridging the psychedelia with a disco shuffle and cocaine strut of the late ‘70s / early ‘80s bent to create a whole other era that hangs between the years. The bulk of the songs (save for “Şoför Bey”) are interpretations of older folk songs and Turkish traditionals – a practice that was common among the psychedelicists of the ‘70s in the area. This leaves the band room to mold the classic melodies into their vision. The melding of eras brings to mind the outdoor market tapes of bands from the Anatolian scene as well as African bands who’ve long interpreted their region’s traditional songs with modern arrangements.

When the band amps up the fuzz they’re still at their best. Occasionally the genre melting pot gets a little too full with their ‘80s visions, as on closer “Süpürgesi Yoncadan,” which strips away more of the psychedelia and goes for a straighter disco element, though this is perhaps the only instance where the tonal shift overhelms. Impressively, the band makes pretty much all the eras fit together like a tapestry woven through the changes without much friction. In most cases the shift from drums to electronics barely registers until the dance is upon you. The blare of the keys overwhelming the guitars is all just more of the band’s ecstatic approach. If you’re a fan of Turkish psych, this should already be in your basket, but if you’re simply a fan of blistering guitars, polyrhythmic beat, and slinking bass that can’t help but incite the itch of dance, then this is equally your best bet.



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Altin Gün

Amsterdam collective Altin Gün wrap the past in a blur of funk bounce and psychedelic touches that pull from ’70s luminaries Baris Manço, Selda Bağcan and Erkin Koray. The album rockets through time, culling inspiration from Turkish folk songs passed down generations and welding their aesthetics to blistering saz riffs, woozy organs, fuzz-crusted bass and fluid guitars that push the album into a league on par with those ’70s inspirations they applaud. More than just a concept, though, the record boasts an infectious rhythm that drives the album past mere psychedelic freeform or nostalgia trip and marks it as a celebratory well of dance and euphoria.

Though the collective all contain some Turkish heritage, they also rope in their individual backgrounds, including ’60s Indonesian and Dutch psych scenes that were each vibrant in their own ways. Adding an additional pedigree, the album was mixed by vaunted Dutch psych star Jacco Garder, long himself a melting pot of influences from the wide spectrum of psychedelia. Together the group and Gardner have crafted an album that sparkles with life, fuzz, bodily rhythm and kaleidoscopic colors. Even for for fans not familiar with the lineage of Turkish psych, this works on several levels as a potent headtrip rife for volume and repeated plays.




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Altin Gün – “Tatli Dile Guler Yuze”

With unlimited access to a decent swath of the world’s recorded music and YouTube rabbit holes runnin’ rampant, it’s constantly possible to set your sights on a sound and make the most obscure vision your muse. With Khruangbin picking up the yoke of Thai funk and giving it a home in Texas, it seems just as likely that the ’70s Turkish psych of Baris Manço, Selda Bağcan and Erkin Koray, long held up by labels like Pharaway Sounds and Finders Keepers, should take root with a young group in Amsterdam. The first single from On is a dead ringer for the work of Selda, maybe with a touch of Hungarian psych goddess Sarolta Zalatnay thrown in as well and it scratches an itch for those driving ’70s Turkish psych and folk records that have been making the reissues rounds over the years. Following pretty quick on the heels of their great Spanish post-punk comp from earlier in the year, Les Disques Bongo Joe are proving that they’re a label making a name for themselves and worth keeping an eye on.




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Gökçen Kaynatan – S/T

I’d trust Finders Keepers to get me briefed on anything from the glory days of Turkish psych. The label has already proven their mettle with releases from Selda Bagcan, Gençlik Ile Elele and Ersen and they seem to have a conduit that few Westerners are plugged into. They continue the riffling of the past with a reissue of the compiled works of Gökçen Kaynatan. Already a burgeoning part of the Anatolian rock scene and a builder of custom instruments, he was a pioneer of introducing electronics into the folds of Turkish pop.

His discography spanned just four singles, but with access to a private studio filled with technological wonders of the time he pushed psych-pop out of its fuzz-laden lair and into much weirder and wilder territory than before. There were certainly others doing similar work across Germany and eventually the US and UK, but Kaynatan gives it that touch of Anatolian flair that’s endeared the likes of Barış Manço and Erkin Koray to me over the years. The songs slink with a strange funk and reach for something intangibly cool. Following this work, Kaynatan began a career that would see him shape the sound of programs on Turkish National channel TRT 1. Somehow its not surprising that this auteur wound up in Library compositions as there’s definitely a feeling of that ilk pressed between these nine gems.




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