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V/A - Love, Peace & Poetry - Turkish Psychedelic Music

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Artist: V/A

Album: Love, Peace & Poetry - Turkish Psychedelic Music

Label: Normal

Review date: Jan. 17, 2006

In the world of ’60s/’70s psychedelic music, Turkey looms large, as this collection (together with others like the fantastic Hava Narghile from Dionysus) demonstrates. The unexpected combination of psychedelic guitars and keyboards with Turkish traditional sounds led to truly mind-bending songs, and stellar albums from artists like Mogollar, Edip Akbayram, and Erkin Koray –all of whom are represented among the 16 tracks here.

As the liner notes explain in reasonable detail, the Turkish approach documented here is not unlike that of western psych revisiting the blues and using that style as its starting point. These songs are often new arrangements of Turkish turku, traditional folk music, updated with fuzz guitar leads, organ and other rock accoutrements.

The singer Selda, the only artist with two songs included, opens the collection with "Bundan Sonra," a less overtly psychedelic song than many here with just a touch of phased guitar to update its traditional sound. "Ince Ince Bir Kar Yagar" alternates thicker guitar with her wailing vocals and acoustic instrumentation, making it one of the heavier songs in this collection.

Erkin Koray's "Yagmur" is a slow, deep jam with shadowy vocals and snakey guitar, a good selection. Edip Akbayram, a turku arranger and singer best-known for his work with the group Dostlar, provides one of the hardest-hitting tracks, a brilliant combination of distorted guitar, turku singing, and traditional elements. The Mogollar track selected, "Halicte Gunesin Batisi," is a slow, deep instrumental song dominated by Leslie-fied organ after a quietly noodled intro section.

Among the lesser-known names here, Ersen serves up a fairly traditional piece based around pitter-pattering drums and what I believe is a saz, though I could be wrong; Ozdemir Erdogan ve Okestrasi and Mazhar ve Faut blend fuzzy guitar with cool chanted vocals and organ. Erol Buyukburc's song is slightly less psychedelic than most of the others, a more straightforward rock song from this longtime pop musician, while Cem Karaca, a political singer, is represented by "Tatli Dillim," an arrangement of a turku piece with a dreamy feel and some psych guitar breaks. Uc Hurel's "Aglarsa Anam Aglar" is a fantastic psych-rocker of a song, one of the strongest here.

Overall, I have to admit to being less impressed by this collection than the aforementioned Hava Narghile, admittedly a hard act to follow. However, there's not much duplication here, and only a few of these bands have CDs easily available in the U.S. So while the contents are somewhat less wild, it's still fairly easy to recommend this collection – especially as an introduction to the world of Turkish psych.

By Mason Jones

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