Mustafa Özkent Ve Orkestrası – Gençlik Ile Elele (1973)
Hello people! Last Wednesday (08/10) a novelty happened and we would like to share with everyone, Gary Sullivan, our friend from Bodega Pop made a radio-webcast program of 3 hours, highlighting the qualities of the Interstellar Medium, along with an extensive tracklist. We wanted to thank Gary and each one who participated and supported during the transmission, the link for you to hear the show is available here.
This was an important step to our history, we ALWAYS count on your opinion! And for those who haven’t yet been familiarized with the page or arrived just now, there’s the About to give you some directions, without further ado let’s get to our entry!
Let’s go to our music:
The Turkish Rock movement is believed to have begun in the late-50’s with the arrival of The Shadows and developed further during the next decade with the increasing popularity of Western music acts. With coming of The Beatles, small bands sprung up everywhere, this triggered the national newspaper Hΰrriyet to organize a national talent contest under the title Altin Mikrofon (golden mic).
In the ’60s, the youth especially living in big cities were very receptive to new pop music coming from abroad but understandably they also were far from the social impact that this music brought, or we may say a middle-class minority who knew English were aware. Meanwhile, there was unrest amongst young people which translated into an exciting political climate, not fed by rock music exclusively.
Of all the musical/cultural scenes that happened along the ’60s, psychedelia was the most effective one in Turkey; it started one year later than the USA and Europe but lasted much longer, this music brought a new dimension to Turkish listeners, while the rest of the nation was happy with its oriental overtones, the Turkish music fans found that it was what they felt inside really! So psychedelia influence was at a much different scope than it had on other countries, by 1969 all codes on the birth of a big rock music scene were set and Turkish rock had five more years of prolific kingdom.
After 1975-76, the scene took its toll with changing political, musical and social climates and before 1979 came it was all over (!). The golden age of Anadolu Rock was marked by artists famous until today, such as Baris Manço, Cem Karaca, Edip Ackbyram, Ersen. Bands like Mogallar, 3 Hurel, Erkin Koray and Selda Bagcan.
Let’s go to our artist:
Mustafa Özkent was a lesser-known but significant figure on the Ankara music scene until his music belatedly found a receptive audience in the West four decades after!
A talented guitarist who was known to modify the design of his instruments to create unusual tonal qualities, he earned a reputation as a gifted maverick and by the dawn of the 70’s was in demand as a session player, arranger, and producer, creating music that fused psychedelic, pop and soul influences with jazz-like improvisations.
In 1972, he partnered with Evren Records, a Turkish label known for its audiophile recording techniques, Ozkent booked time at Istanbul’s finest recording facilities, and with a mighty team of musicians, he began recording new material dominated by extended percussion jams, hard-grooving organ lines, and funky wah-wah guitars.
The resultant Lp, Genclikle Elele (Hand in Hand with Youth), sounded as if it were designed for hip-hop DJs in search of funky breaks even though it was cut years before the South Bronx scene began to flower! The British Finders Keepers label reissued its masterpiece in 2006, he remains active in Turkey, releasing Dijital Guitar in 2005!
Let’s go to our album:
Mustafa went on to invent specially treated guitars with additional frets enabling him to replicate unique notes similar to a saz or lute allowing the musician to emulate the sound of Hendrix’s style wah-wah and fuzz while retaining the versatility of the traditional Eastern sensibilities which ran through many young Istanbul’s veins.
Unlike Zafer Dilek’s entry and its adapted Belly Dance, this time the Turkish folklore really receives a spicy electric treatment, the groove is so infectious that I really doubted it could have come from Turkey. I simply won’t say much about this masterpiece, an instrumental album like Gençlik Ile Elele is virtually unattainable!
The ‘IM’ highlights are Dolana Dolana and Ayaş.
A1 Üsküdar’a Giderken
A2 Burçak Tarlaları
A3 Dolana Dolana
A4 Karadır Kara
- Arranged, Performed: Mustafa Özkent
- Guitar: Cahit Oben, Mustafa Özkent
- Organ (Hammond): Umit Aksu
All songs Traditional/Anonymous
- Recorded at Grafson studios, Istanbul.
- Originally released on LP in 1973 – Evren Plakları, TÜ 1003
Finders Keepers Records – FKR010LP