Mustafa Özkent Ve Orkestrası – Gençlik Ile Elele (1973)

capa cópiaHello 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:

Ferdi Özbeğen Orkestrası, 60's
Ferdi Özbeğen Orkestrası, 60’s

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 the 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.

Arda Uskan, John & Yoko, Erkin Koray
Arda Uskan, John & Yoko, Erkin Koray

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.

Baris Manço's Cockade
Baris Manço’s Cockade

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 psychedelicpop and soul influences with jazz-like improvisations.

Mustafa Özkent
Mustafa Özkent

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:

Cem Karaca's Article
Cem Karaca’s Article

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.

좋은 여행!

Tracks Include:

A1 Üsküdar’a Giderken

A2 Burçak Tarlaları

A3 Dolana Dolana

A4 Karadır Kara

A5 Emmioğlu

B1 Çarşamba

B2 Zeytinyağlı

B3 Silifke

B4 Lorke

B5 Ayaş

Credits

  • 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 1973Evren Plakları, TÜ 1003

Finders Keepers Records ‎– FKR010LP

Moğollar, Today
Moğollar, Today

Zafer Dilek – Oyun Havalari (1977)

folder cópiaAs previously, today we’re going to another unknown artist to most of the Western audience; legendary Turkish producer and arranger, again there’s little information available about this grand maestro! Per hour, we will continue to investigate its details and if some Turkish readers could provide us more details, it will be welcome!

Let’s go to our history:

Belly Dance in the Middle East has two distinct social contexts: as a folk or social dance, and as performance art. As a social dance, belly dance is performed at celebrations and social gatherings by ordinary people who are not professional performers. Dancers wear their ordinary clothes rather than a special dance costume.

The version of belly dance that is performed on stage has its roots in the social dance, and is typically a more polished version, with more emphasis on stagecraft, use of space, and special costumes designed to show off the movements to best effect.

Princess Banu
Princess Banu

Professional performers (dancers, singers, and actors) are not considered to be respectable in the Middle East, and there is a strong social stigma attached to female performers since they display their bodies in public, which is considered haram. (!)

As Turkish law does not impose restrictions on Turkish dancers’ movements and costuming as in Egypt, where dancers are prevented from performing floor work and certain pelvic movements, Turkish dancers are often more outwardly expressive than their Egyptian sisters. They’re known for their energetic, athletic (even gymnastic) style, and their adept use of finger cymbals, also known as zills.

Sabine Sevan
Sabine Sevan

Another distinguishing element of Turkish style is the use of the Karsilama rhythm (faster than others) in a 9/8 time signature, counted as 12-34-56-789.

Turkey was also known, male belly dancers!

Let’s go yo our artist:

Zafer Dilek (b. 1945) is one of the unsung heroes of Turkish music having worked as arranger, producer, and guitarist for countless famous Turkish artists (usually uncredited); also in film soundtracks, as a solo artist and in Zafer Banu Hülya group. He officially began its career in 1971 and in 1976 produced Selda’s second album.

The development of Turkish pop music in the ’70s saw the consolidation of Anadolu Rock, drinking on traditional influences, suddenly folklore (once seen as outdated) became a true fever when arranged with electric (modern) instruments.

Zafer Dilek
Zafer Dilek

The so-called Oyun Havalari turned into an export product, with its appealing (erotic) covers, uptempo overall and many famous artists doing this kind of exploitation portrait of the Middle East, such as Esin Engin, George Abdo, Omar Khorshid, Ahmad DjamalErköse Kardeşler and Ozel Turkbas. (!)

Let’s go to our album:

Groovy instrumental, lot’s of ethnic percussion, beautiful woodwinds, and excellent guitar / Bağlama playing in an unstoppable rhythm, feverish psychedelia with short length tracks, and a small sense of deja-vu: the songs are quite similar in this oriental party, but this will not belittle your hearing appreciation, hoşlanmak!

The ‘IM’ highlights are Arabi Oyun Havası and Konyalı(this is an exclusive rip)

Приятной поездки!

Tracks Include:

A1 Kol Bastı Oyun Havası

A2 Tokat Sarması

A3 Sultan Ciftetellisi

A4 Arabi Oyun Havası

A5 Eminem

A6 Tulum

A7 Fasulya

B1 Döktürü

B2 Konyalı

B3 Bahriye Çiftetellisi

B4 Kelle

B5 Adana Çiftetellisi

B6 Kazancı Oyun Havası

B7 Adanalı

Devir ‎– DP 7777

Erotik Kapak!
Erotik Kapak!

Selda Bağcan – Selda (1976)

cover

Is with great pride that I present my favorite Turkish singer today, leaving aside the innoxious pop from the Pekkan sisters, this is definitely one of the most haunting vocals per se, creating an extraordinary hybrid folk album you are ever likely to hear! Singer, composer, and political activist when Selda Bağcan first released her long-awaited Lp, she was enduring her hiatus as one of the most politically outspoken popular singers to hail from Turkey. During the 70s she had made a household name as a traditional Anadolu protest singer with a spectacular emotive vocal capacity.

Artists such as Mogollar (also known to a growing french audience as Les Mogol), had previously recorded a run of singles with the singer in a traditional folk style. After fusing jazz, funk and electronically treated instruments, Selda in recent years had enjoyed a Western recognition, thanks to Finders Keepers re-release.

Moğollar
Moğollar

Let’s go to our history:

Selda Bağcan Resmi Sayfası was born in 1948. She grew up in a well-educated family, where she showed interest in music at an early age. She played the guitar for pleasure until her first two singles recorded in 1971 sold almost a million copies! That was the turning point, and step by step, she became one of the most influential female figures in the Turkish folk scene. She recorded a single with Mogollar in 1972.

The same year, she was sent to Bulgaria by the Turkish government to participate in the Golden Orfeus Festival. The 70s were the peak years of Selda’s career as she heavily toured Turkey and Europe while she was building up a large fan base.

Selda, Live
Selda, Live

But before we continue, let’s return to the political and social context?!

The 1970s were marked by right-wing/left-wing armed conflicts, often proxy wars between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, respectively. To create a pretext for a decisive intervention, the Turkish military allowed the conflicts to escalate, some say they actively adopted a strategy of tension. The violence abruptly stopped afterward, and the coup was welcomed by some for restoring order.

For the next three years, the Turkish Armed Forces ruled the country through the National Security Council before democracy was restored. The 12 September 1980 Turkish coup d’état, headed by Chief of the General Staff, General Kenan Evren, was the third coup d’état in the history of the Republic after the 1960 and 1971 coups.

September 12, Coup
September 12, Coup

To date, no one has been punished in Turkey for crimes including 650,000 people detained & 230,000 people prosecuted in military courts. Over 300 people died in prison, including 171 who died as a result of torture. Hundreds of thousands were tortured, 14,000 were stripped of citizenship, thousands are still missing, a total of 1,683,000 people were blacklisted. There were 49 executions & hangings, including a 17-year-old student named Erdal Eren who said he looked forward to death to avoid thinking of the torture he had witnessed. (!!)

The military junta dictated the terms of a phony return to democracy in 1983 when the murderous General Evren retired, he moved to a Mediterranean resort town. Now 96-years old, it took the Turkish courts over 30 years to press charges against the generalissimo and the only other surviving general.

1980 Victims
1980 Victims

To close the matter, a small addendum of U.S. participation. Following the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Washington had lost its main ally in the region, while the Carter doctrine, formulated on 23 January 1980, stated that the U.S. would use military force if necessary to defend its national interests in the Persian Gulf region. (sic)

Turkey received large sums of economic aid, mainly organized by the OECD, and military aid from NATO, but the USA in particular. Between 1979 and 1982 the OECD countries raised $4 billion in economic aid to Turkey.

Erdal Eren, in Prision
Erdal Eren, in Prison

Let us return to her biography and its tragic developments.

After the infamous military coup in 1980, her passport was seized by the government and she couldn’t leave the country until 1987. Meanwhile, she missed the opportunity to attend the WOMAD Foundation Festival. She was imprisoned in 1982 and again in 1984. (!) After 1987, Selda took the stage in numerous festivals in both Turkey and Europe. In 1990, she bought the rights to her own recordings.

In 1994, she started re-releasing them in a series of albums named Turkulerimiz from her own record company Major Muzik. Her most recent album of original material, Halkım was released in 2011. After surviving a serious accident in 2000 while she was touring, Selda was relatively lucky in the new millennium with the rediscovery of Turkish psychedelic-era music by European and American collectors!

70s Portrait
70s Portrait

Let’s go to our album:

Released in 1976 to huge critical acclaim and skepticism in equal parts, the album smashed new boundaries both lyrically and musically. With electronically treated Saz and proto poly-phonic synthesizers, Selda was one of the few female voices to adopt the use of such cutting edge techniques. Frowned on by the paranoid Turkish authorities, songs like Meydan Sizindir and Ince Ince were viewed as calls to revolt by the working classes. She would face the threat of imprisonment due to her desire for freedom of speech and a demand for the quality of human life.

After this introduction, I would like to say that the today’s album is very similar to the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul: a myriad of corners, colors, spices, and people such as this striking record, capable of countless moments and tinges!

Grand Bazaar
Grand Bazaar, Peep

The ‘IM’ highlights are: Nasirli Eller, close to a Tarantino’s soundtrack, this unique flash, with a sentimental performance, orchestral arrangement, plus eerie synths, leads us to an epic and surprising outcome. Resembling Shirley Bassey’s acts, back in the 60s! And Gitme, an electronic pop voyage through Mount Ararat, with a sticky chorus, oriental scales and much credit to the impressive band that accompanies her.

It is evident the importance of Ince Ince who entered in the famous collection Love, Peace and Poetry, so even though we emphasize other sounds, however the social queries present in the lyrics still remain unanswered!

‘Istanbul’un benzemiyor neden o Urfalara,
yoksul Maraş, susuz urfa, ya Diyarbakırların?
yandık yandık, öldük öldük, bir yudum su,
etme ağam, n’olur…’

Tracks Include:

A1 Kızıl Dere

A2 Mehmet Emmi

A3 Nasırlı Eller

A4 Ince Ince

A5 Gine Haber Gelmiş

A6 Yaylalar

B1 Dam Üstüne Çulserer

B2 Dos Uyan

B3 Yaz Gazeteci

B4 Gitme

B5 Niye Çattın Kaşlarını

B6 Meydan Sizindir

Credits

  • Backing Vocals: Dadaşlar
  • Leader: Arif Sağ
  • Perfomer: Moğollar
  • Performer, Vocals: Selda Baǧcan
  • Producer: Zafer Dilek

Originally recorded at Yeni Studios.

Türküola ‎– Tr. St. 304

‘We would like to thank: Dün – Bugün – Yarin Ork. Dadaşlar and Moğollar groups with Arif Sağ and Zafer Dilek, Studio Şat, studio Elektronik and Yeni studio, Çikita Doğan E. Ayyıdız and Ferhan Uçoklar for their advertising and Erhan Printer, Thank You for all their valuable help and contributions for this Long Play.’

İstanbul Eventide
İstanbul Eventide

Turkish Female Mixtape ~ 2013

kamuran akkor cópia

Turkey. A country that divides two continents, Istanbul (formerly Constantinople) is localized at the Bosphorus Strait, the legendary bridge that divides the European continent of Asia. This geographical division ended up influencing the Turkish customs and its diverse and rich ancient culture. By owning the shortest route in intercontinental passages, historically the only way between the civilizations of East and West, the country became an important center of trade and constant migration transit. With several occupations throughout his history, such as Hittites, Assyrians, Hellenization, and Byzantine Empire, Mongols, and lastly, the Ottoman Empire, Turkey mainly thanks to its rebirth to one single individual: Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

Atatürk
Atatürk

Credited with being the founder of the Republic of Turkey, after defeating the Ottoman Empire in WWI, Atatürk embarked upon a program of political, economic, and cultural reforms, seeking to transform the underdeveloped country into a modern, secular and democratic nation-state. Under his leadership, thousands of new schools were built, primary education was made free and compulsory, while the taxation on peasants was reduced. The constant economic growth continued until WWII, based upon a blend between liberalism and state interventions.

He died in 1938, and the so-called single-party period ended with the war, then, a multiparty democracy emerged and so the development from the post-war period began to fade. The usual tensions from the period strengthened in 1960 with the first of four military coup d’états, that lasted more than 35 years. (!)

Adnan Menderes, 1960 Coup
Adnan Menderes, 1960 Coup

Let’s go to our history:

Anatolian Rock (Anadolu Rock) arises on the mid-’60s, as in many other countries, with the definitive entrance of The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Yes, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, and many other bands. That western invasion would influence the basis of the movement along with Turkish folk traditions, instruments, and tunes.

From 1968 to 1975 multiple artists/bands popped through the radio airwaves and television to became nationally acclaimed, during this time Turkey saw the golden age of psychedelic, prog, folk and pop acts (sung in Turkish) such as Cem Karaca, Edip Akbayram, Baris Manço, Erkin Koray, Mogollar, Apaslar, and Kardaslar.

Mustache Rock
Mustache Rock

With dozens of records and singles, this movement had some tolerance with the military governments, though, after 1975, the situation changed and repression tightened. Not that this period did not leave death and repression in their wake, quite the contrary, as seen in the invasion of Cyprus and the strifes between ultra-nationalists and communists. A lot of artists were arrested, banned or boycotted, until the ’80s more than 5000 Turkish were killed in many different conflicts!

But none of these artists had women on the front, that’s why we’ll have a dedicated post to some of these bands later (including the legendary Selda Bagcan), with deeper biography and info; today we focus on an unusual side of Anatolian Rock, with some other influences, like disco, synth-pop, jazz and sugar ballads.

Cyprus Invasion
Cyprus Invasion

Let’s go to our mixtape:

The Turkish pop scene always has kept its exotic character mixing influences from the Ottoman, Anatolian, and Arabesque culture. Combined with western pop it makes music that, for western ears, is build on the atonal orchestral melodies and western sounding blues and pop. On the other hand, you had the Turkish folk music (Türk Halk Müziği) has combined the distinct cultural values of all those civilizations which have lived in Anatolia and the Ottoman territories in Europe and Asia.

Now, this is an umbrella genre since there are many forms of folk like Türkü (folksongs), Destan (epic) or instrumental dance music like Halay, Bengi, Karşılama or Zeybek. And lastly was the traditional music of the Middle East and the Raqs Sharqi (belly dance) influence to the forming of Turkish pop music!

Arabesque Music
Arabesque Music

Here is our Kadin!

Asu Maralman

asu maralman cópia

Bal Gibi Olur (1977 single) /// Yollar (homonym 1980 Lp)

With Armenian blood in the lineage, Silva Bursalıoğlu, began his musical studies on piano and chant at the age of 5. The youngest daughter of three, his mother was an opera singer and helped her to debut on musical stages alongside with his sister on the early ’60s. Performing, in the beginning, on weddings, university festivals and later as the main singer in a professional orchestra. After his first marriage, in 1968, she changed her name to Asu Maralman. Its first single came out in 1971 and her career was characterized by the release of several singles throughout the ’70s.

Toured across Germany, USA, and Canada on the ’80s, after this period the pace of its career slowly wane. Recently the Eski 45’likler (Best of) re-release and some blogs revival made it known again. With a synth-pop and disco tinges!

Kâmuran Akkor

kamuran akkor single cópia

Ikimiz Bir Fidaniz (1974 single) /// Dogrumu Dogrumu (1977 Lp)

This beautiful blonde may be considered one of the first foxy-romantic singers, in Turkey. With incandescent as a surname, alongside with his sister Gonul Akkor, the two were in the minds of many, thanks to their bodies and latent sexuality. With few Lp’s released domestically, once again, the 45′ singles are the majority of its career.

Debuting in 1969, these AMAZING electric grooves, unfortunately, can only be seen here, his romantic shift taken from the ’80s made her a very popular corny diva. But here, she flirts with some soul, fuzzy guitars and heavy synths. Currently, she still performs live shows and TV appearances, her last album was released in 2010.

Neşe Karaböcek

nese karabocek cópia

Asik Olamiyorum (1972 single) /// Bahcenizde Gul Var Mi (1979 Lp)

From a very early age, she displayed his vocal and theatrical qualities, debuting on live stages and theaters with only three years old. (!) With scholar music formation, the brilliant soprano sang opera until their teens, to finally start on vinyl in 1965. Probably the most famous of all, Neşe is internationally known and has an extensive career with more than 8 Lp’s and numerous singles. Starring as an actress too, she takes part (leading or not) on more than 10 films throughout a noted biography!

She’s the best selling female artist in Turkey, with more than 6 million records and multiples prizes! Leaning on a folk romantic source, some Latin colors and synths are heard from our selections, the sound quality may vary, but his vocal techniques and instrument tones worth the trip. She continues to record and recently released a book and an exhibition of his personal paintings and thoughts.

Nilüfer Yumlu

nilufer capa

Kim Arar Seni (1978 Lp) /// Ayrilik Hasreti (1974 Lp)

A consolidated career, this phrase defines well this singer. With more than 20 albums and a myriad of singles, Nilüfer is one of the few to achieve success in all decades, changing its sound and aesthetics once in a while. Singer, the songwriter, and producer, discovered in the late ’60s after winning a Golden Voice student contest, in Istanbul, she debuted at musical charts on 1972 and participated in 1978 at the Eurovision Song Contest. The mid 90’s (pinnacle of its career) saw his nomination as a Turkish ambassador of UNICEF and also honored with the State Artist title.

Recently she adopted a rock posture, releasing its last album in 2013. Deeps synths, nice percussion and a disco-pop overall. The other one it’s a mellow cover from the world hit ‘Killing Me Softly with His Song’, check it!

Tülay German

tulay german cópia

Mecnunum Leylami Gordum (1964 single) ///  Kizilciklar Oldu Mu (1965 single)

The oldest and experienced all, the founder of Turkish pop music, Tülay studied music and graduated in 1956 at the Uskudar American Academy. Even forbidden by his father to sing at night, her stage debut in 1960 starts a new role in Turkish pop music, singing at many radio programs, she was awarded best singer prize in 1964 at Balkan Music Festival, held in Yugoslavia.

From then on, she went to France in 1966 and played along with names like Charles Aznavour and The Moody Blues, releasing successful singles by Phillips. She also made many TV shows and toured around the World in late ’60s, early ’70s!

Her folk ballads overstepped the boundaries of any Turkish singer, turning it into a legend in his country. Retired since the mid-’80s, living in France, Tülay’s music has a distinguishing mark, passing through jazz and deep folklore traditions.

Iyi Yolculuklar!

Van Kahvaltı Evi
Van Kahvaltı Evi