Archive for the ‘anatolian rock’ Category

Mustafa Özkent ve Orkestrası ‎- Gençlik ile elele

July 7th, 2012

Mustafa Özkent - Gençlik ile eleleMUSTAFA ÖZKENT VE ORKESTRASI

  • Gençlik ile elele
  • Evren Plakları
  • 1973
  • Turkey

Compared to what he has done during his long career, Ankara based Turkish composer, arranger, conductor, producer and guitarist Mustafa Özkent is still relatively unknown to the big world. He started his career as early as in 1960 in a pop group called The Teenagers. At some point in the early 1970s he formed his own orchestra, simply named Mustafa Özkent ve Orkestrası (Mustafa Özkent and Orchestra). In 1973 the first album Gençlik Ile Elele (in English Hand in hand with youth) was released and the second album Elif was released in 1975. They also released two 45s (in 1972 and 1974). During that time in 1975 – 1976 Özkent was studying in the Academie D’e music D’ixelles in Brussels. For a short period in 1976 his close friend and a fellow Turkish musician Baris Manço was also spending time in Brussels. In 1976 he was also working in a big band for the Montreal Olympic Games as an arranger and guitarist. During his career Özkent has been an in-demand session guitarist, arranger and conductor and has worked closely with numerous Turkish musicians and band including his close friends Baris Manço, Okay Temiz and Mogollar. And he has still been active throughout the 2000s.

For his new orchestra, he called in organist Umit Aksu (later of Aksu Orkestrası fame), second guitarist Cahit Oben as well as two drummers and a percussionist (not mentioned anywhere). Özkent himself played the lead guitar naturally. In 1972 the freshly founded independent label Evren had heard about Özkent and decided to give him a shot to do an fully instrumental album wit mixture of jazz, psychedelic rock, funk, traditional Anatolian sounds and new stereo effects. The album was recorded with a live take but some effects were added later.

In those days, outside the core of Western musical culture, an instrumental album with somehow psychedelic improvisations was never called “psychedelic”, more labelled as A Go-Go, often dance rhythm related item. Acid jazzrock was more often one influence for such music.
(Mustafa Özkent)

Gençlik Ile Elele is clearly the funkiest of all anatolian rock albums that ever came to my ears. With it’s heavy drumming, hard grooving organs, funky Anatolian melodies and of course the large amount of breaks it belongs to my all time favorites. The album starts with a heavy midtempo funker “Üsküdar’a Giderken. It’s followed by the massive “Burçak Tarlaları” that starts with a huge break and continues as a heavy Anatolian funk track with some traditional melodies and psychedelic electric guitar work. There’s even an another heavy break in the end. Next one is called “Dolana Dolana”. It’s an uptempo heavy funker with some electric guitar and organ melodies and a huge break in the beginning. Then comes “Karadır Kara”, another midtempo track that starts with a percussive break and the same break pops up few times during the track. Next one is again a midtempo psychedelic funk track called “Emmioğlu”, starting with a break and having the heavy electric guitars there too. The first track on side b is “Çarşamba”, again a heavy midtempo funker. Next up is one of my favorites, “Zeytinyağlı”, an uptempo breakbeat funker with electric guitar melodies and short breaks every now and then. Then comes another midtempo one called “Silifke” with sound very similar to the rest of the album. Fourth track on side b is “Lorke”, another uptempo track with a slightly different and more straight forward beat than the others. Last one is the very hectic, almost batucada sounding “Ayaş”. And for the last words, the album cover.. what’s happening in there?

Üsküdar’a Giderken

Burçak Tarlaları

Dolana Dolana

Karadır Kara







Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under anatolian rock, asia, funk | No Comments »

Erkin Koray - Elektronik türküler

November 17th, 2011

Erkin Koray - Elekronik TürkülerERKIN KORAY

  • Elektronik türküler
  • Doğan Plakcılık
  • 1974
  • Turkey

Türkü, literally “of the Turk”, is a name given to Turkish folk songs as opposed to şarkı. In contemporary usage, the meanings of the words türkü and şarkı have shifted: Türkü refers to folk songs originated from music traditions within Turkey whereas şarkı refers to all other songs, including foreign music.
- Wikipedia

1941 born Erkin Koray is a very well-known figure in the Turkish music. Actually there’s no one like him in the history of Turkey’s rock scene and he is widely recognised as the first musician ever to play a rock n’ roll concert in Turkey. That happened in 1957 by the way, when his high school band played covers of Elvis Presley and Fats Domino. He was also one of Turkey’s very first electric guitarists, recording what is generally recognised as being the first rock’n’roll record ever released in Turkey. And, he is also acknowledged to be one of the inventors of the so called anatolian rock, a genre mixing traditional Turkish sounds with western rock and funk music. Therefore he has well earned his nickname Baba Erkin - that means of course Father Erkin - as the godfather of Turkish rock.

Throughout the 1960s and early 1970s he released a whole bunch of 7″ singles, but his first long play was released as late as 1973. And it wasn’t even a pure LP on it’s true meaning, but kind of a compilation of his single recordings from 1967 to 1973. In 1974 Koray changed label from Istanbul Records to Doğan Records and then he was finally able to present his true self in music. In a form that was contemporary, under his control and unrestricted by the short durations of singles. And what he brought up is widely considered to be his best album - the second LP called Elektronik türküler (Electric folk songs). On the album, there’s three original compositions of Koray, and as the title recounts, the remaining five tracks are contemporary versions of Anatolian folk songs from the past. And on this album Koray have his tight combo on fire. Along Baba Erkin himself on guitars, bağlama, piano and organ, there’s Ahmet Güvenç on bass and Sedat Avcı on drums and percussion. The additional session musicians Faruk Tekbilek on bağlama and kalem and Eyüp Duran on bongos rounded out the trio.

The album starts with a traditional Anatolian ballad “Karli daglar” (Snowy mountains), a midtempo groover with catchy vocals, nice funky rhythms and the hypnotic bağlama work of Faruk Teklebik. Next up is an instrumental written by Koray, called “Sir”. It starts with a telephone ringing before turning into a belly dance’ish track. In the middle Koray let’s loose his psychedelic guitar on a solo and then the track comes back in. Then comes an acoustic rework of a 17th century folk song called “Hele ya” (Especially), a six and half minute track with a strong Anatolian feel. A really short (one and half minutes) instrumental track “Korkulu rüya” (Nightmare) is a really haunting drumless track with mean organs and weird panting in the end. Last on on side A is “Yalnızlar rıhtımı” (Waterfront of the lonely ones), a very western sounding groover with a really tight rhythm, some nice guitar work in the middle, very hypnotic vocals and Koray’s guitar solo in the end.

The first one on side B is an acoustic guitar driven ballad, “Cemalim” (My Cemal), written by the early 20th century folk composer Urguplu Refik Basaran. It’s a nice little groover based on Koray’s acoustic guitar work, with some fuzz guitar overdubbed in places and Ayzer Danga on drums. There’s a psychedelic guitar solo in the middle too. In their live performances they didn’t act as wild as you can imagine. They seem rather being quite stoned as it’s shown in their live video on “Cemalim”…

Next one is a strong fuzz guitar driven proto-metal instrumental “Inat” (obstinacy) that starts really promising but never seem to really start before it fades away after two minutes. The last one - and my personal favorite on this album - is the nine minute psychedelic monster simply called “Türkü” featuring the lyrics based on the poems of the well known early 20th century poet Nâzım Hikmet. With the main theme played with bağlama by Erkin Koray, the snake charming licks of Ahmet Tekbilek’s kalem (a double reed Turkish wind instrument) and the stoned sounding drumming of Sedat Avcı makes it one helluva song. Great album indeed as a whole.

Karli daglar


Yalnızlar rıhtımı



Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under anatolian rock, asia, europe | No Comments »

Barış Manço - Sakla samanı gelir zamanı

February 13th, 2011

Baris Manco - Sakla Samani Gelir ZamaniBARIŞ MANÇO

  • Sakla samanı gelir zamanı
  • Yavuz Plak
  • 1977
  • Turkey

Istanbul born Barış Manço was one of the most influential Turkish musicians of all times. His musical style combined traditional Turkish folk music, türkü, with western rock and even funk. In 1962 Manço formed his first band after seeing a live performance of another legendary Turkish rock star Erkin Koray. After few own bands in 1960s and brief recordings backed by well known Turkish band Mogollar and reformed Kaygısızlar (his own band from late 60s) he went to form Kurtalan Ekspres in 1972. That band accompanied him until his death in 1999. After a serious car accident in 1967 Manço grew his signature moustache to cover the scars he got.

Sakla samanı gelir zamanı (a Turkish proverb meaning “save hay for a rainy day”) was the third album of Barış Manço after succesful Dünden Bugüne (1972) and 2023 (1975). All these were backed by the legendary Kurtalan Ekspres orchestra. Sakla samanı gelir zamanı wasn’t actually a studio album, but a compilation of singles released by Yavuz between 1972 and 1976. There’s plenty of different types of good tracks in this album. The hypnotic downtempo rare groove number “Gönül dagi” (1973), midtempo funky Anatolian rock number “Kalk gidelim küheylan” (1973) with nice percussion work and very oriental feeling. There’s also midtempo funky “Nazar eyle nazar eyle” (1974) and “Ölum allahin emri” (1972) which after a minute or so intro turns into a nice midtempo oriental funkrock song. “Lambaya püf de!” (1973) is a downtempo mellow song that turns into a nice oriental funk song in the end. The best track no doubt is the uptempo oriental funk song “Ben bilirim ben bilirim” (1975) with nice catchy melody and abreak in the end. There’s also quite hilarious music video of that song where the tempo slightly pitched up. “Ben bilirim” was later released on 20 Sanat yılı disco Manço cassette as a percussion driven disco version. Despite the variety of recording years and musical styles this album is a very strong Anatolian rock album. There is a German reissue of Sakla samanı gelir zamanı from 2008 with different cover and slightly different expanded tracklist.

Gönül dagi

Ölum Allahin emri

Lambaya püf de!

Nazar eyle nazar eyle

Kalk gidelim küheylan

Ben bilirim ben bilirim

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under anatolian rock, asia, europe | No Comments »
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