Sunday, May 21, 2006

Turkish Delights: Beat, Psych & Garage. Ultrarities from Beyond the Sea of Marmara

Turkish Delights: Beat, Psych & Garage. Ultrarities from Beyond the Sea of Marmara
Imagine the Nuggets collection, Istanbul stylee. An archaeological recovery of mysterious, weirdly delectable and hitherto virtually unknown pleasures, culled from 45s recorded by Turkish psychedelic garage bands during the sixties and seventies. The Turkish rock scene was first inspired by The Shadows, a British guitar-driven instrumental outfit that was huge internationally (but never really noticed in the US), but it really took off with The Beatles and psychedelia. This wacky assemblage includes covers (including Izmir Özul Karsiyaka Lisesi's divine version of The Yardbirds' "Over Under Sideways Down"), psychedelic originals sung in Turkish (Bunalimlar's "Taz Var Köpek Yok" is a raw gem), and rock remakes of traditional Turkish tunes. This massive assortment (a total of 26 songs) is pure and unadulterated fun from beginning to end, but it is not merely kitsch, for many of the groups demonstrate as much creativity, energy, and musicality as, well, those brilliant American garage groups on Nuggets. Turkish Delights also forces us to revise any stereotypical notions that Turkey is simply a backward "Eastern" and "Islamic" country. This is crossover country, redolent with the aroma of Turkish hashish.

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3 Comments:

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