Beyond Istanbul 2|
Reviewed by Sadie O., 9/17/10
“Urban Sounds of Turkey” – but not top 40 stuff. First half of comp is pretty Western in sound, with the most Turkish aspect being the language, but then things shift to involve a lot of various Turkish traditional sounds in modern forms. These mashups are far and away the most interesting aspects of the album. Several groups/artists are cult favorites; Ceza and Sultana are the king and queen of Turkish hip hop.
I suspect there are FCCs on some of these tracks, but you’d have to speak Turkish...
I like 2, 6, 7, and pretty much the whole second half of the comp...
1. 5:04 ***whooshes and psychedelia for more than a minute, then downbeat bass & electric guitar. Violin and guitar psychedelia, bit of hyperspeed rap.
2. 2:56 ****Balkan-influenced pop with tight female vocals. Bouncy & fun.
3. 4:52 *downbeat acoustic guitar, keyboards, male vocals – a bit jazzy/soulful, but could be elevator music.
4. 4:00 *moody whistling & piano for 30 seconds, then violins with very slight Turkishness. Very downbeat remake of a Turkish tango song from decades ago. Soprano female vocals and terrible sadness...
5. 3:55 *wistful classical-ish piano. Manly manful vocals, folk song.
6. 3:38 ****self-conscious (but fun) hip hop with bongos. Apparently very left-wing revolutionary stuff.
7. 6:09 ****groovy slinky electronic beat, muffled chanting, then whooshy, gronchy electronic club stuff. Remix of a track from Duble Oryental, which we have.
8. 3:54 *keyboards and spoken word, very downbeat.
9. 4:27 ***disco! High female vocals, apparently Turkish “Goth”. Sounds like disco to me – I kinda like it...
10. 3:44 ***electronics and bits of big drum, breathy female vocals (in English!) – dreamy, hints of Turkitude. The drum is the best part – gets a star for that alone.
11. 3:17 *****indie hard rock with heavy Turkish elements. The tune is convoluted, with lots of percussion. Quite nice.
12. 5:52 ***gutteral yell and Turkish handdrum, subdued folk song (apparently traditionally song in Thrace during the henna ceremony before a wedding to make the bride cry. Ah, folk traditions!)
13. 6:19 ******electronics and random beats, jollied up by lots of cool hand percussion. Adds layers to become something quite bitchen.
14. 3:32 ****quivering, strange energy, very exotic feel. Apparently the “blues” of the Aegean coast of Turkey.
15. 3:55 ****upbeat, very traditional sounding with hand percussion, stringed instrument, female vocals. Apparently a sarcastic song about sex in Turkey in the swinging 60’s. Huh!
16. 3:23 *****mashup of traditional Turkish sounds and scratching, with the very distinctive vocals of Turkey’s hip hop diva.
17. 5:05 ***downbeat unison minor-key chanting – sounds rather ecclesiastic. After 2 minutes gets a sort of slow gypsy groove. “Psychedelic folk”, sung in a non-existant language.
18. 2:56 ****bitchen downtempo hip hop/traditional with keen slide bass – Kurdish. Cool!