30 April 2016


I snagged this on a whim in Oklahoma City a few weeks back because....well, sometimes I get a little tipsy and I buy tapes. Initially I just thought it was a thing with a weird ass cover (it was dark and I was drunk), but when I got home I realized that some fool bootlegged a crucial Turkish psych/rock record onto cassette and then I got real pumped. My pal Paul goes way deeper to into the psych world and the Turkish world, so I asked him to give all you mutants some background...he obliged:

This record hits on a multiple levels. If you're looking for a great example of Turkish psych, complete with the embedded funkiness that makes Turkish psych so appealing, look no further. If you're looking for an inspirational lady speaking her mind in a time and place where there were reprecussions for such boldness, you've also come to the right place. Check out the infectious groove of Yaz Gazeteci Yaz (Write, Journalist, Write). The fuzzy Eastern sounds of Meydan Sizindir (The Square Belongs to You). One of the best riffs ever on Ince Ince (Tiny Little Snowflakes). The driving lead on Yaylalar (Uplands) over 60s pop psych sounds. Sleepy dreamy sounds of Dam Üstüne Çul Serer (?). The urgency of Dost Uyan (Wake Up, Friends). You really can't fuck with this record. Think about what bullshit was coming out of the US and UK for rock music in 1976, or even soul music. Then stop and think about it again. 

Selda Bağcan studied phsyics and engineering in university, and her early music recordings (45s starting coming out in early 70s) were Turkish folk music on solo acoustic guitar - this was the first time these songs were being played on guitar, traditionally they were played on baglama. Her lyrics and themes have always spoken of solidarity with the poor and social criticism, and after a coup d'état in Turkey in 1980 she was held as a political prisoner off and on for the next few years, but never stopped speaking out. She would sing in Kurdish at a time when speaking Kurdish was illegal. Her musical style continued to change after her self titled album, but subsequent records are worthy listens in their own right. She has been sampled for Mos Def (produced by Oh No, Madlib's younger brother) and even Dr. Dre.

In 2013, she had this to say about the state of modern Turkish rock: "By definition, rock is rebel music. It is the music of protest. But the price of rebellion seems so high nowadays that, unlike us, those who claim to be rockers only sing love songs... Turkish artists forgot that rock was about dissent, about rebellion. Only now do we hear the first steps of a protest rock."

1 comment:

K said...

What a find! This is radical.