Still exploring the ambits of hip-hop grooves and jazzy sonics, Turkish rapper and beatmaker Da Poet adds yet another album of instrumentals to his repertoire of work. Last year’s instrumentals collection, Beattape, dipped into artfully lush chill-out and marked the artist’s crossover success, gaining attention overseas with hip-hop and downtempo aficionados. The rapper’s latest is mainly a collection of instrumentals from his 2011 album, Poetika, which was a sizeable hit in Turkey’s underground hip-hop scene. Stripped bare of Da Poet’s earnest and fluid raps, all emphasis is placed on the rapper’s most overlooked skill: his ability to create haunting and evocative melodies.
Instrumentals Vol. 5 showcases exactly what makes the rapper so distinct from his contemporaries in Turkish hip-hop; he finds an emotional counterpoint between heavy, robust grooves and deeply textured melodies that betray both a sense of youthful wonder and a dignified maturity. Instrumentals Vol. 5 also presents some unreleased studio experiments, like the head-nodding, hypnotic shuffle of “O” as well as the backing tracks to some of his productions for other hip-hop acts. “Seyyar Kafiye”, originally a production for fellow Turkish rapper Sürveyan, is a particular highlight; poignant, sad and emotionally restless, it alone establishes Da Poet as an artist head and shoulders above the others in Turkey’s hip-hop game.