Back by popular demand! This is in fact one of the most visited and commented-upon albums featured on this blog since it was posted a year and a half ago. Now it comes complete with a FLAC set for my fellow audiofreaks. I have sort of drifted away from the idea of sharing or writing about the interesting Anatolian psych scene in favor of focusing on other musics, but I might revisit that territory more often this year. Who knows.
Don’t let the folky cover fool you, the music is much more far-out psychedelic folk (of the Turkish variety) than it would lead you to believe. Fuzzy guitars, electric oud, Moog and other analog synths are all layered over and under her powerful voice. In fact most of Selda’s subsequent records are apparently more in the traditional vein of pop/folk songstress. Quite a bit of this is still psychedelic-tinged dreamy folk, sometimes wading into prog-rock waters (which is okay by me), and occasionally downright funky. My personal favorites in this set are ‘Yaz Gazeteci Yaz’ and ‘Yaylalar’ but the whole record is extremely engaging and ’tis hard to chose. I wish I could understand the lyrics because this IS protest music, engaged with the social problems of life under the oppressive right-wing regime of the mid 70s. I prefer to contextualize the posts on this blog in their historical context but this one is a bit outside my reach.
So here are some reviews and info:
Selda Bagcan – Selda (1976) [FLAC]
2006, Finders Keepers Records/B-Music BMS004
1. Meydan Sizindir (3:39)
2. Yaz Gazeteci Yaz (2:45)
3. Mehmet Emmi (3:21)
4. Nasirli Eller (3:38)
5. Ince Ince (3:42)
6. Gine Haber Gelmis (4:54)
7. Yaylalar (3:48)
8. Dam Ustune Cul Serer (3:47)
9. Dost Uyan (3:02)
10. Gitme (4:12)
11. Niye Cattin Kaslarini (3:15)
12. Kizil Dere (3:41)
13. Utan Utan (2:52)
14. Karaoglan (4:00)
15. Eco’ya Donder Beni (2:57)
16. Anayasso (3:03)
17. Nem Kaldi (3:47)
Embodying all the aesthetic watermarks of a private press country LP, Selda’s
debut long player from 1976, Istanbul, has masqueraded as lamb dressed as mutton
throwing many a discerning wolf from the gourmet scent. Behold! Space age,
Anatolian, electronic, progressive-protest, and psych-folk-funk-rock from the
Fusing Selda’s radical prose with equally radical musical gestures from some of
the most lorded musical mavericks was a match made in psychedelic heaven.
Artists such as Andalou beat combo Mogollar (Also known to a growing French
audience as Les Mogol) along with the talents of Turkish rock stalwart Arif Sag
and master electronic producer and pioneer Zafer Dilek (whom would later gain
critical acclaim amongst collectors of Turkish library music.) Each of these
artists involved in the recording of this album are considered the cream-of-the-
crop amongst Eastern Psych aficionados. In recent years, the legacy of Turkish
progressive rock has been gaining popularity amongst DJs, producers and record
collectors as an unrivalled source for unique sounds rarely found in other
genres of international music and, until now, rarely heard outside their native
Finders Keepers continues in it’s mission to unearth some of the finest
treasures the Western world has never seen with this incredible 1976 album from
Turkish radical folk singer Selda Bagcan.
Part of Finders Keepers’ ‘Anatolian Invasion’ series, this particular record
stirred up quite a fuss among the world’s Turkish communities on it’s release,
achieving a certain notoriety for Selda herself as she proclaimed unashamedly
her thoughts on freedom of speech and quality of life.
So it’s political, we’ve got that down, but since most of us don’t speak any
Turkish we need to get hooked on the music itself, which mercifully isn’t a
tough task. Harnessing the genre-bending talents of a number of Turkish musical
free-thinkers she managed to conjure up a record that was equal parts
experimental and pure Middle Eastern pop, blending elements of folk, psych,
rock, prog and proto-electronica.
To be quite honest this is a record that simply has to be heard to be believed,
Selda’s voice is a marvel and complemented by such peculiar backing tracks
produces a record that stands head and shoulders over the competition.
There seems to be a bubbling of interest in Middle Eastern psych at the moment,
but I must say that Selda’s debut album is a real eye-opener. You don’t have to
know anything about psychedelic folk or Middle Eastern pop to glean enjoyment
from Selda, this is inclusive, intense, hugely enjoyable music and is as
essential as they come. Just buy it.