How vintage grooves bring Turkish rock music to life

By | September 20, 2022

Musicians and music lovers unearth uncommon vinyl to breathe new life right into a musical style that rocked the world to its rhythm within the 90s.

It began with a reissue of a file by dwelling Anadolu rock legend, Selda Bagcan, which one way or the other fell into the palms of Jasper Verhulst, bassist and central determine of the revival band. Turkish psyche Altin Gun.

“It was the primary Turkish music that I actually found, reissued about ten years in the past on Finders Keepers, a British label, says Verhulst.

Verhulst had come to Istanbul to play bass for Dutch band Jacco Gardner. Whereas there, he did fairly a little bit of crate looking out in Istanbul’s file shops.

Not solely did the invention of uncommon Turkish grooves result in the creation of Verhulst’s new brainchild, Altin Gun, however the band’s distinctive ethno-rock sound, found by cult Seattle radio station KEXP – which propelled the band to dancefloor fame – additionally fueled a worldwide longing for uncommon 70s Turkish vinyl.

Anadolu rock – or -pop, as it’s typically known as – is the identify of a selected Turkish rock and folks hybrid sound that used psychedelic guitar results, widespread within the West within the early seventies.

He additionally integrated Turkish devices, like baglama and electro baglama primarily, in addition to conventional percussion devices. A few of its finest and finest identified practitioners had been Erkin Koray, Baris Manco, Cem Karaca and Selda Bagcan.

“What I appreciated about Anadolu rock,” says Verhulst, “is the mix of Turkish custom with psychedelia and 70s synthesizers, spatial results like flangers and tape delays, and stuff like that. It was only a actually good combine and it labored rather well. In lots of international locations individuals began to mix folks music with the trendy sounds of that point, however I feel in Turkey, it labored very properly, higher than in another fashionable international locations I suppose.

The Turkish psychedelic sound, which flourished for a decade and was crushed by the Türkiye coup in 1980, appealed to a home viewers that longed for one thing rock with native inflections. He additionally had an attraction to Westerners, who picked up his acquainted guitar groove, which on the identical time blended in ethnic Turkish touches.

It was the time when many adventurous Western vacationers adopted the hippie path from Istanbul to India, the Beatles performed with Indian sitar maestro Ravi Shankar and the Rolling Stones proclaimed their affinity with Moroccan gnawa stars Nass El Ghiwane.

The Latin wave

Within the Nineties, Anadolu rock steadily started to make itself identified to a brand new era of listeners via Turkish and German-Turkish rap and hip-hop teams, corresponding to Cartel and Islamic Drive in Germany, which sampled riffs by Baris Manco or Erkin Koray.

Nevertheless, Turkish hip-hop has principally remained within the Turkish musical ghetto, and it’ll take one other era to resurrect the music in a means that appeals to the tastes of a global viewers.

Koray, who prefers to be known as Grup Ses, is an enigmatic crate-digger and beat-maker from Istanbul. He claims to have been gathering uncommon Turkish grooves since 1998.

“Not solely do I accumulate tracks which can be good for DJing,” says Grup Ses, “however I additionally hunt down native stuff that I discover attention-grabbing, like fairy tales, obscure recordings, and many others. for sampling, principally .”

“With the recognition of ‘Turkish psychedelic music’ overseas and the development of gathering vinyl information, file costs have skyrocketed,” says Grup Ses. “It isn’t straightforward to seek out uncommon issues lately, and even if you happen to discover some, it is too costly. I am not normally searching for one thing particular, I incessantly go to file shops and take a look at what’s new. I am not obsessive about particular genres.

Not solely is the sound extraordinarily thrilling to ears weaned from the West, however the vinyls had been produced in extraordinarily restricted editions, so at present they fetch excessive costs in Turkey in addition to Berlin and the cities. from Western Europe the place Turkish immigrants settled, bringing with them their very own musical predilections and file collections. This writer unearthed in his spouse’s cellar a disc by the Turkish folks artist Asik Mahzuni Serif value 400 euros.

In the present day, many used file sellers in Berlin have turn out to be plugged into the excessive demand for Turkish vinyl and run their enterprise on a two-tier pricing system, promoting early classical music and “schlager” titles. (German pop) at decreased costs, whereas rising costs. for ’70s Turkish Anadolu rock. The truth is, many avid collectors of the style have organized with flea market stall house owners to sift via choices earlier than they hit the streets.

Erbatur Cavusoglu is Berlin’s best-known Turkish classic vinyl vendor. He runs a small basement file retailer in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district, which is house to a big inhabitants of first-, second-, and third-generation Turkish immigrants.

Cavusoglu got here to Berlin 5 years in the past from Istanbul to pursue his dream of shopping for and promoting Turkish vinyl overseas, initially with the concept in thoughts that almost all of his clients can be Turkish.

Nevertheless, it turned out that its clientele was solely twenty p.c Turkish nationals, whereas the bulk had been curious vacationers and worldwide hipsters eager on Turkish and world music. Periodically, he would even have identified artists who got here to rummage via his coffers, corresponding to members of Altin Gun or the gothic group Lifeless Can Dance.

“I feel all Altin Gun members or half of the members had been right here, in addition to different bands. Like, these individuals into Turkish music. Particularly Jasper (Verhulst) who is aware of world music very properly. Funk, soul and disco world music. After which he turned all in favour of Turkish music and he discovered lots from it.

Curiosity in Turkish vinyl, says Cavusoglu, was largely stimulated by the belief amongst Western music lovers that the remainder of the world had one thing to supply musically. It began with the Latino wave within the early 90s, continued via the Balkan music craze, and dovetailed with at present’s curiosity in Turkish psychedelic Anadolu rock.

“I feel the explanation why Anadolu rock has turn out to be extra widespread is as a result of the western world can also be as a consequence of tourism,” says Cavusoglu. “Individuals go to Turkey on holidays, then they take heed to native music, then they meet native artists or no matter. So I feel that was the explanation. Another excuse is second or third era migrants from Türkiye who began doing – not folks music – however one thing extra hybrid or European, like Altin Gun or Derya Yildirim (a Berlin artist and baglama participant from Türkiye).

When requested if he had found any gems throughout his few years within the Turkish vinyl enterprise, Cavusoglu mentioned: “As soon as I ordered an inexpensive Turkish album on-line, it was solely nothing tremendous uncommon. However I received it as a result of it was for an affordable quantity – twenty euros. However when it arrived within the submit, there was a totally completely different album inside than the one marketed on the quilt.

The truth is, it was an album that I had been searching for for ages, a really uncommon vinyl from Nesrin Sipahi, his finest album. I had been searching for this album for possibly 20 years. Evidently, I did not complain to the man that he offered me the mistaken file.

Supply: World TRT