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Yol

Alternativ und Indie - Erschienen am 26. Februar 2021 | Glitterbeat Records

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On their second album, Gece, Altin Gün perfected their updated version of the Turkish psychedelia of the late '60s/early '70s. The group of musicians from Holland and Turkey gave familiar Turkish folk songs a gleaming upgrade that combined bouncy rhythms with soaring electric saz lines, heartfelt vocals, and an overall feel of psychedelic warmth that was at once comforting and thrillingly new. Not content to repeat themselves, the band altered the approach and sound on 2021's Yol in a couple important ways. Thanks to the global pandemic, they weren't able to work together in a studio and instead traded ideas over email and shared files. As they sent demos around, more and more synths and drum machines ended up in use, and the feel of the record began to shift from the joyous explosion of sound of past albums to something more subdued and synth pop influenced. Many of the songs are built on icy keys instead of nimble basslines, a steady drum machine pulse takes the place of more flamboyant drumming, and there is a glossy sheen that coats the production like a plastic cover over a comfortably worn sofa. It's a little shocking the first time "Ordunun Dereleri" -- which has all the rain-streaked windshield melancholy of Chromatics -- plays, and a little disquieting how songs like "Kesik Çayir" or "Kara Toprak" replace the beating heart of a live band with something more machine-driven. Even tracks with some familiar psychedelic strut, like "Sevda Olmasaydi" or "Hey Nari," have melancholy synths in the background bringing them down a notch emotionally. Considering the circumstances of the record and the general state of the world, it's not too surprising that the record is a little more gloomy than the buoyant Gece was. The important thing here is that the band manage to pull off the adjustments very well and prove just as adept at tugging on heartstrings as they were at floating the listener on a cloud of joy. Also, it's not all bummer tunes. The disco-fied "Maçka Yollari" is a perfectly percolating dancefloor filler with some whiplash-fast saz riffing, "Yekte" is a rumbling jam that wouldn't have been out of place on Gece, and "Yüce Dağ Başında"'s bubbling electro-pop conjures up a vision of Madonna on an Anatolian holiday. It's never easy for a group to follow up a record that made as big a splash as the Grammy-nominated Gece did, and Altin Gün do the right thing by keeping the core of their sound intact while subtly branching out in other directions. The synthy, downbeat direction they chose may not be the most thrilling option, but the band make it work thanks to their musical vision, the wonderful voices of Merve Dasdemir and Erdinç Ecevit, and the fact that nobody else around is making music quite like this. © Tim Sendra /TiVo
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Aus aller Welt - Erschienen am 26. April 2019 | Glitterbeat Records

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Altin Gün were formed by former members of Jacco Gardner's band to pay tribute to the Turkish psychedelia of the early '70s that they discovered and fell in love with while on tour in Turkey. Bassist Jasper Verhulst fell under the spell of artists like Baris Manço, Selda Bağcan, and Erkin Koray, who blended traditional Turkish folk sounds with the wild sounds of their day, so Verhulst decided he wanted to do something similar in the 2010s, using modern production techniques and synthesizers along with psych guitars and Turkish instruments. The core musical group was formed in the Netherlands by members of Gardner's band, and they were lucky enough to find two Turkish vocalists/players who knew the ins and outs of their country's folk music while also being plugged into the modern psych scene. The group's first recordings were sparkling updates of old songs (often written by Turkish legend Neşet Ertaş) that built the template for their first major release, 2019's Gece. Powered by the rhythm section's elastic bounce, the guitar's fuzzy wandering, the bubbling keyboards, and the bewitching sound of the electric saz (as played with fiery precision by Erdinç Ecevit), the album has a rich sound that rivals anything by modern psych masters like Dungen and King Gizzard, while remaining true to their brief of making the classic Turkish sound come alive for the modern era. Ecevit's alternately mournful and joyous vocals are a clear tie to the past, as is Merve Daşdemir's hauntingly beautiful singing. They give the music a legitimacy it wouldn't otherwise have, no matter how faithful and knowledgeable Verhulst and his crew were. It's no history lesson, though. Tracks like the rollicking "Vay Dunya" or the synth pop/psych hybrid "Supurgesi Yoncadan" are made for dancing, "Yolcu" and "Ervah-i Ezelde" are loose and funky jams that mine the same territory as Khruangbin, and songs as spookily pretty as "Leyla" or "Anlatmam Derdimi" make for perfect soundtrack music for introspective summer evenings when the shadows are just beginning to creep in. Most of the songs are updates of Turkish folk songs -- many by Ertaş -- and the group do right by the originals and the '70s updates, too. It's clear that they respect and love the source material; more importantly, Gece is pure psychedelic music that's thrillingly expansive, wildly melodic, emotionally expressive, and transports listeners to a time and place far from the workaday world. © Tim Sendra /TiVo
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On

Alternativ und Indie - Erschienen am 30. März 2018 | Bongo Joe

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Alternativ und Indie - Erschienen am 18. November 2020 | Glitterbeat Records

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Alternativ und Indie - Erschienen am 21. Juli 2021 | Glitterbeat Records

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Alternativ und Indie - Erschienen am 15. Mai 2017 | Bongo Joe

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Aus aller Welt - Erschienen am 22. März 2019 | Glitterbeat Records

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Aus aller Welt - Erschienen am 1. Oktober 2019 | Glitterbeat Records

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Alternativ und Indie - Erschienen am 19. Oktober 2018 | Bongo Joe

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Alternativ und Indie - Erschienen am 22. Juni 2018 | Bongo Joe

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Alternativ und Indie - Erschienen am 22. Dezember 2017 | Bongo Joe