Mustafa Ozkent: Gençlik Ile Elele

[30 November 2006]

By Deanne Sole

According to the blurb in the liner booklet, vinyl copies of this 1973 album are rarer than rare. They’re rarer than hens’ teeth, rarer than screaming mandrake roots, so rare that they cost over $600 each and 90% of the original pressing was eaten by wolves, ladies and gentlemen, wolves; and as for the completely irrelevant chimpanzee wrapping itself in loops of tape on the front, well, no, Finders Keepers doesn’t understand it either. It was the LP’s original cover. Crazy, hey? But once you’ve picked yourself up off the floor and fanned away the winds of hyperbole, it turns out that this is an excellent little album to have around. It’s half an hour of wordless Turkish psychedelica chilled to a nice consistency, being neither too heavy nor superficial. It has the assertive kick of funk but lying underneath is an icy marsh of cool jazz. For 30 minutes it flirts with you without doing anything quite so vulgar as reaching a definitive climax. The guitar, saz, and keyboard strut around having minigasms. Ozkent was a nationalist, but he blends his Turkish folk influences so perfectly into the modernity of the psyche-jazz-funk that you might not even notice them unless you knew what you were listening for. The only real downside of Gençlik Ile Elele is the length. Thirty minutes is short for a full album. What you get, though, is very good.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/mustafa-ozkent-gen/