Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Various Artists - An Anthology Of Turkish Experimental Music 1961 - 2014 [Sub Rosa 390]

The great 'Anthology'-series on the highly acclaimed Sub Rosa-label makes a comeback in 2016 with a  two CD strong, twenty-nine tracks spanning exploration of the Turkish experimental music scene of the past five decades - a scene that many might not be well aware of and which, to put a little bit of criticism first, might not be fully represented on here as, although the oldest track dates back to the year 1961 indeed with Bülent Arel's "Postlude From Music For A Sacred Service" with a subsequent gap of 35 years before Ilhan Mimaroglu's "Prelude No. 17 (Istanbul Fog)" continues the experimental tradition in 1996. This might be due to the countries musical history in which early pioneers where a few and the second wave of interest in exploring / crossing the boundaries of music emerged only post-2000 but still it would've been more satisfying to get a few more bits from the early days or what happened in between other than only one. But no matter what as a lot of the material to be found on this two hour plus album has been previously unreleased and unearthed from the archives there's plenty of thrilling stuff to be amazed by. Opening with the mentioned piece by Bülent Arel we're exposed to a trip into what - according to many early science fiction movies - the future sounds like with plenty of modular synthesis and computing, crystalline bleeps before Batuhan Bozkurt's 2012-composed "Kun" delivers highly digital, randomly structured Noize evoking memories of large moving objects and Alper Maral's "Sho" gravitates towards tripping Off-Ambient-structures - a triple of tracks that introduces the wide spectrum of CD1 that's dedicated to realms of experimental electronic music hailing from this area. Furthermore we see Cenk Ergün amalgamating harmonic droning and abused string instruments for "Forge", Erdem Helvacoglu's "Resonating Universes Part 1" provides a more ruminant and ritualistic feel before the tune drifts into more glitchy territories and Koray Tahiroglu delves into crackling Deep Listening spheres with his 2012 created piece "Iki El" which musically evolves from Clicks'n'Cuts to layers of shattering metal and tinkling, bell-like glass bits and back. Those loving Dark Ambient with an intense, futuristic twist will be highly pleased by Tolga Tüzün's "Uncomfortable Possibilities Of Seamless Unions" whilst Basar Ünder knows how to cater the needs of minimalists with "Driving" and so does Nilüfer Ormani with "Life In The Mist Of Finer Thoughts". Going into the second part of this album which is entitled "Politic, Samplers, Ambient Music" things are getting more concrete with the aggressive Noize pulse vs. reprocessed vocals of Utku Tavil's "SUTT" and the siren'esque wind instruments accompanying digital fluttering of Asaf Zeki Yüksel's "Democracy Lessons" which incorporates hints of the arab / turkish tonality in its use of harmonic structures and meandering time signatures alongside additional layers of Field Recordings and distortion followed by the alarming and well unsettling intensity of Osman Kaytazoglu's "The Monopoly Of Victim Status". With SIFIR (Z. Aracagök) and his amazingly catchy, yet twisted "I Want To Be A Suicide Bomber" we'll find a proper 2012 update of what might be filed under the flag of Industrial Pop Song,  Cem Güney's "Procession A.D." walks the line between Field Recordings and Musique Concrete and the first minute of Mete Sezgin's "Subconscious Memories" bring back lovely glitches and harmonies referencing Oval's "Systemisch" era before digitally reprocessed pianos and melancholic Jazz fragments add up to what we'd describe as Electronique Noir for rainy days. Mors' "PerfYAy" draws its inspiration from a more traditional approach being a twanging, instrumental Desert Blues - a captivating fusion of Charalambides' "Unknown Spin" minus the vocals and Klaus Schulze's Ambient visions,  D2GG's "3 Cakl Tas" serves repetetive piano romanticisms and digital Clicks'n'Cuts make a large scale return in Cevdet Erek's "Strob". But these are only a few of many more great pieces featured on this extremely recommendable album that is a must have for everyone that's into non dancefloor-focused electronic music. Get this! 

Album artwork on Instagram!


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