[1 November 2011]
Turkish retrospectives have been coming out on Western labels in a slow trickle for years: Edip Akbayram on Shadoks, Selda on Finders Keepers, pop and rock musicians from the ‘60s and ‘70s, rolling out their electrified sazzes, their chaise-lounge, sweet-drawling voices, their folk songs jumping up into protest music as the politics of their country simmered around them. Erkin Koray slips in among the rest, a good solid act, all the local music and the outside psyche-rock influences tightly melded. “The first person to ever play rock and roll in Turkey; in 1957,” claims his publicity. He loves to set up the listeners’ expectations with long introductions on tracks like “Mechul”, “Cumbur Cemaat”, and “Goca Dunya”, and then hit them with something not too slow, not too fast, with something that sustains itself between laziness and tension, a slow voice and a quick handclap, or the ingenious shiver-‘n-jab of violins on “Sevdigem”.