February 3, 2012

Istanbul 70: Psych, Disco, Folk Classics

ARTIST:  various artists 
TITLE:  Istanbul 70: Psych, Disco, Folk Classics
LABEL:  Nublu 
REVIEW:  I guess we can call Turkish 70’s music the latest reissue trend, on the strength of recent compilations of Cem Karaca, Erkin Koray, and now this sampler from Nublu (the label and NYC club owned by Turkish-Swedish musician Ilhan Ersahin) curated by Istanbul-based DJ Baris K. Reflecting a country that straddles Europe and the Muslim world, in an era characterized by both secularism and nationalism, Turkish 70’s music is equally influenced by Anatolian traditions and by the new developments coming out of the West.  You can certainly hear the folk traditions in a modern rock context on tracks like 4 and 6; 8 (disco-funk) and 13 (psych-rock) are more explicitly Western.  Track 2, perhaps my favorite of the set, turns a popular protest song (the title in translation is “Write Journalist, Write”) into a funky neo-traditional workout.  If you haven’t heard Turkish 70’s music yet, this is a great place to start.  And there’s plenty more good stuff where this one came from.
TOP TRACKS:    2    4    6    8    13
ALSO RECOMMENDED:    1    3    5    12

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