I don't like Turkish music, or do I?

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Afacan Soundsystem playing that Turkish Psyche on Beats in Space.


my opinionation (Hamildan), Saturday, 25 July 2009 16:06 (eight years ago) Permalink

I have decided that it's all about Hele Hele Yar which makes me bounce about like a demented feret.

Your Mother Smells Of Elderflower (Masonic Boom), Monday, 27 July 2009 09:52 (eight years ago) Permalink

I have (or had) a Turkish brother-in-law, we used to all live together in a house-share.

But, long gone. So, can't help, bit of a shame...

Mark G, Monday, 27 July 2009 09:57 (eight years ago) Permalink

Then again, I wonder if perhaps the not understand is part of the appeal. When Erkin Koray chants "BIZIM DOSTLAR" over and over again, it sounds like it should be something profound and amazing and dripping with meaning.

Which would be kind of lost if he was actually reciting "children brush your teeth" or something. Not that I think that's what he's saying (or that what he is actually saying is *that* profound) but maybe part of the beauty would be lost.

Your Mother Smells Of Elderflower (Masonic Boom), Monday, 27 July 2009 10:06 (eight years ago) Permalink

His tastes, for the most part, were modern, naturally (i.e. Prince, The Times (as in the bunch from Purple Rain film, not Ed Ball), oh and one time bought a Cure album because he loved "Lullabye", only to find the rest was nothing like it..

Oh, and one strange CD of music that whirling dervishes would meditate to, just before going into a whirl. Each track about 20 mins long, plinkyplonky, slow, etc. Quite interesting..

Mark G, Monday, 27 July 2009 10:10 (eight years ago) Permalink

It makes me feel really stupid that I didn't know that 3 Hur-El was a pun.

Your Mother Smells Of Elderflower (Masonic Boom), Monday, 27 July 2009 10:56 (eight years ago) Permalink

I have this Turkish friend who's a big Anadolu pop fanatic, literally worshipping artists like Cem Karaca, Baris Manco and Koray. The most impressive thing is how deeply he feels about this music, how much it means for him in terms of cultural belonging.

Marco Damiani, Monday, 27 July 2009 13:21 (eight years ago) Permalink

is this baris k's mix II?

and what's the 3 hur-el pun?

jaxon, Monday, 27 July 2009 15:40 (eight years ago) Permalink

Right, I googled.

They are three brothers with the name Hurel. Omlettes on the u.

Mark G, Monday, 27 July 2009 15:42 (eight years ago) Permalink

In Turkish, hür = "free" & el = "people/tribe"

so it's like a pun on their surname. 3 Free People as well as 3 Hürel brothers.

Not much of a pun, I know, but, erm.

Not sure if that's mix I or II - the song titles look familiar, but that might be because I've been listening to so much of this stuff.

Your Mother Smells Of Elderflower (Masonic Boom), Monday, 27 July 2009 15:56 (eight years ago) Permalink

i've been listening to 3 hur-el for like ten years now, i had no idea. I LEARNED SOMETHING!

dim samosa... lost samosa (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Monday, 27 July 2009 16:55 (eight years ago) Permalink

yay! So trying to learn Turkish has actually been good for something - apart from the haggling for elektrosazzes I am expecting to have to do in Istanbul.

Your Mother Smells Of Elderflower (Masonic Boom), Monday, 27 July 2009 16:57 (eight years ago) Permalink

one month passes...


He is so awesome words cannot express it.

Evren Kader (Masonic Boom), Thursday, 10 September 2009 10:55 (eight years ago) Permalink

Seconding Rocket Scientist's praise for Aynur Doğan (aka just Aynur) a few years back. I discovered her through the Crossing the Bridge documentary a few years ago. Technically Kurdish music, but by an Istanbul artist and her ensemble. The albums Keçe Kurdan (2004) and Nûpel (2005) are findable online.


Fraught with conscience. (Derelict), Thursday, 10 September 2009 15:39 (eight years ago) Permalink

On the offbeat side, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Baba Zula, a self-described "Turkish psychebelly" band, produced by dubmeister Mad Professor. YMMV.


Fraught with conscience. (Derelict), Thursday, 10 September 2009 15:45 (eight years ago) Permalink

Ha ha, I actually have some Baba Zula on a compilation of contemporary Turkish dance music - a song called Zaniye Oyun Havasi (which I think is actually better than the clip there.)

Evren Kader (Masonic Boom), Thursday, 10 September 2009 16:04 (eight years ago) Permalink

Regrettable lad's magazine cover aside, I thought this widely available dance comp was pretty good (probably the best of this Petrol label series):


missing fingertip (Derelict), Thursday, 10 September 2009 16:53 (eight years ago) Permalink

Oh dear. This is one of the ones I got:


Been slowly trying to make my way through the back catalogue of the artists I liked. Thing is the one I liked best (Harem) went back and forth between amazing darjouka jams and frankly regrettable trance remixes with an annoying girl squeaking "watch me belly dance!!!" in between orgasm noises. Um, no.

Evren Kader (Masonic Boom), Thursday, 10 September 2009 17:03 (eight years ago) Permalink

Selda is the truth! Her 1976 release is an instant classic.


Spinspin Sugah, Sunday, 13 September 2009 18:51 (eight years ago) Permalink


Finders Keepers do a pretty good comp of this guy's stuff. Ersen.

Doran, Sunday, 13 September 2009 20:39 (eight years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I have that Ersen comp. It's really great stuff.

But still... I don't love him quite as much as I love Erkin Koray. Elektronik Turkuler really is just something so incredibly special.

Also - to reiterate. SELDA. Oh yes.

girls just wanna have mixtapes (Masonic Boom), Sunday, 13 September 2009 21:11 (eight years ago) Permalink

I'm going to have to try harder with these, aren't I?

Mark G, Sunday, 13 September 2009 21:45 (eight years ago) Permalink


and if you like ersen, the sakir oner gunhan link i posted a while back still works and is sorta similar. and some of cem karaca's stuff is pretty nuts, like aci doktor:


GOVERNMENT TRASH QUEEN ON A THRONE (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Monday, 14 September 2009 02:47 (eight years ago) Permalink

I think Bunlalimlar had their own thread is why no one brought them up here?

What I really want to hear more of is the Erkin Koray / Grup Bunalim COSMIC GLAM PSYCH project Ter which their record company put the kabosh on for being too "far out".

Mark G, if you're not feeling the Koray love, then watch that video above - Cemalim. I think that might be his best - or at least his most accessible.

I ordered an Anatolian Invasion t-shirt from Finders Keepers, but lord knows when I'll ever get it, what with the postal strikes and backlogs and all. :-(

girls just wanna have mixtapes (Masonic Boom), Monday, 14 September 2009 09:18 (eight years ago) Permalink

i think ter only had the one 7"? i mean, damn, i hope there's more in a vault somewhere just waiting to be discovered...

GOVERNMENT TRASH QUEEN ON A THRONE (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Monday, 14 September 2009 10:07 (eight years ago) Permalink

Yeah, there's that one song on the Hava Nargila compilation which just makes them sound like they would have been AMAZING had they done an LP. I hold out hope that in some secret record company vault somewhere there exist demos that made A&R guys hair fall out or something. But it probably would have surfaced by now, had it existed.

girls just wanna have mixtapes (Masonic Boom), Monday, 14 September 2009 10:09 (eight years ago) Permalink

That is TEH AWESOME!!! Presume it's the other side of the single with the one I know?? :


girls just wanna have mixtapes (Masonic Boom), Monday, 14 September 2009 10:38 (eight years ago) Permalink

Kate: I liked the "Genlik" Monkey one, but didn't have the time to sit around listening, and the Selda got short shrift at the time.

Still, I have time. Or, I will have, at some point in my life, who knows???

Mark G, Monday, 14 September 2009 21:05 (eight years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

I'm enjoying the Erkin Koray video posted upthread. I came back to check out all the stuff people have been posting here over the last year or however long it's been. I still don't really click with the more classical end of Turkish music, from what I've heard anyway, but that may be all the more reason to check out this other material where the turquianidad (that's bogus Spanish, incidentally, not bogus Turkish) gets twisted into new arabesques. Also, I think some of this Turkish stuff under discussion was minimal techno, which I'm suddenly curious about since my conversion to minimal techno (or rather, since I found out I liked the new Pantha du Prince anyway). More later. Downloading something or other obscure off a blog link from this thread as well.

_Rudipherous_, Thursday, 4 February 2010 13:45 (seven years ago) Permalink

I have no recollection of either listening to or posting the links for those Aynur Doğan mp3s (nor do I have any recollection of her name), but they are not bad. My favorite thing on this thread is probably that Erin Koray video way upthread. Some of the mixes people have linked too are just mixed (ahaha).

_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 6 February 2010 06:05 (seven years ago) Permalink

And I must have read about Turkish minimal techno in some comments Masonic Boom made elsewhere.

_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 6 February 2010 06:09 (seven years ago) Permalink

I thought I had mentioned Seyfettin Sucu, who I do like to some extent, on this thread. I only have one of his cassettes, bought without any clue as to who he was (aside from a Turkish singer), but there's a lot of music by him on youtube:


Oh, hey, there (in the video) is the cover for the cassette I have, I think: Bulbul Oter.

More. . .


_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 6 February 2010 06:33 (seven years ago) Permalink

That second one is very vocals-oriented, sorry. Not really my cup of tea. I generally like the ones that are heavy on electric bazouk/guitar.

_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 6 February 2010 06:58 (seven years ago) Permalink

I could swear I posted at least once on ILM about Seyfettin Sucu, but I can find nothing. Maybe it was a different board or a newsgroup.

_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 6 February 2010 07:02 (seven years ago) Permalink

Found it. I had two letters wrong in his first name.

_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 6 February 2010 07:04 (seven years ago) Permalink

Clicked on the second Sucu video you posted and I like both the cool sounding "bazouk/guitar" and the vocals. Vocals like this, like other middle-eastern ones I've heard, and those on Youssou NDour's Egypt, also remind me of certain Jewish cantors i've heard in synagogues. The ethnological similarity is interesting. I also want to say the vocals feel "bluesy" but that is kind of as wrong as saying certain Malian things sound bluesy when it is likely more the other way around.

curmudgeon, Saturday, 6 February 2010 15:22 (seven years ago) Permalink

There are definitely connecting threads there. I don't have the terminology for it, or the knowledge for it (for that matter), but I tend to think of middle eastern vocals on a spectrum. I have to admit that I tend to prefer what to me is the less harsh end of that spectrum. I would put a lot of the traditional Turkish vocal styles on one side, along with Syrian classical vocals, classical Iraqi vocals, and the vocal styles that seem to have been more popular much earlier in the 20th century in Egypt and maybe the Arabian peninsula, and maybe also cantorial vocals (though I'm not all that familiar with that sound); all of which are not so far removed at times from qawali to my ears. I tend to prefer the somewhat smoother sound that became popular in Egypt (with singers like Mohamed Abdel Wahab, Farid el Atrache, and later Abdel Halim Hafez) and the Gulf (a good contemporary example being Mohamed Abdo) at a later point. But I don't know enough to know whether that sound was there all along and the different sounds went in and out of style. I'm also not quite sure how to fit female singers into this. Oum Kalthoum, for instance, to me straddles the line between the two extremes I'm talking about here. (I'm attempting to do cross-cultural comparisons here without being an expert in even one of these national cultures. So I admit this may be mostly bullshit.)

Diamanda Galas always has intriguing things to say about the connections you were bringing up:

DIAMANDA: Interestingly enough, since 9/11, a lot of people coming from the Middle East are saying there would be no blues if there were no muezzin singing, and I said, “Well, you know, the reason I won’t argue with that is that music comes from Byzantium, from the mixture of all these cultures in the Middle East, including Anatolia, Turkey, Greece.” Where did the music of Islam come from? Well, it came from the Arabs, originally. Who did the Arabs get it from? The Arabs took it from the Greeks. They all changed music together in that melting pot of the Black Sea and Egypt and Turkey; in all those Arab countries, there was this exchange of music. So you have this bending of the tones, and you don’t just have a five-note scale—what is that? All these taqsims and the makams, all these scales.

And that is what I hear when I listen to most interesting blues music, which I feel is from Somalia and Ethiopia right now, because they have to get up there and be really good qaraami singers—the improvised music of that whole part of the world—and then they have to be pop singers and blues singers, too. So they get up and they start the solo with the qaraami, then they go into the song, and they go back into the qaraami. The qaraami is sung by church singers also. But these are real singers—I hear it and I think about where the blues is, what the Americans have done to it since then, which is just: repeat.

ARTHUR: Though they seem to specialize in it, that overly reverent regard for musical genres’ classic forms—stylizing them till they petrify hard enough to put them up on museum shelves—is not an exclusively American problem.

DIAMANDA: But when people try to get into this ethnic purity thing, like with Wynton Marsalis or Stanley Crouch, it’s the same thing that people do when they think about Armenian music—“Well, this scale or sound here is probably Turkish.” And I say, “How do you know if it’s Turkish or not?”

ARTHUR: A lot of musical idioms and techniques do get called Turkish; Western music critics use “Turkish music” as a big umbrella term.

DIAMANDA: That’s what Turkish imperialism is. They are a very rich country—in between what they get from America and what they get from Israel, they do real good. They can afford to have plundered the Assyrians, the Kurdish, the Greeks, the Armenians and many Arabic cultures and call it Turkish. They have borrowed from everyone, and other cultures as well have taken from them. But there is no such thing as a united Turkish music. That is just a bunch of shit.

This whole thing about insults to Turkish people, in Turkey they put people in jail for it. If you say you’re Assyrian, that means you’re insulting Turkish people; if you speak Greek, that’s an insult to Turkishness. And still, those two cultures melted into music that is now called Turkish music. Anatolia was a huge area that was inhabited by many cultures, and now they call it Turkey. And they say it’s “The Land of the Turks”—only because they killed everybody else off that lived there before.

ARTHUR: Of course, modern Greek musicians frequently refuse to sing certain songs because they think the song’s roots are in Islam. But in reality, they don’t know where that song came from.

DIAMANDA: There are a lot of people who refuse to perform certain music because they think they’re performing music by the enemy tribe. And they’re not. It’s part of their own music. The Turks employed Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians and Jews to compose music for the sultans. Then they called it “Turkish music.”


_Rudipherous_, Sunday, 7 February 2010 01:55 (seven years ago) Permalink


lol @ 'folc'

Snop Snitchin, Sunday, 7 February 2010 02:30 (seven years ago) Permalink


curmudgeon, Sunday, 7 February 2010 02:35 (seven years ago) Permalink

Incidentally, curmudgeon, do you ever check out the Greek music thread? I think you would like some of what I have been posting to that.

_Rudipherous_, Sunday, 7 February 2010 03:06 (seven years ago) Permalink

Once in awhile but not in ages.

curmudgeon, Monday, 8 February 2010 04:21 (seven years ago) Permalink

A lot of that Sakir Oner Gunhan album linked to upthread is good, although I still prefer the instrumental aspect over the vocal aspect. (Not that he isn't a strong vocalist--he is! But Turkish vocals tend to put me off a little. Maybe it's even Turkish itself.)

_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 13 February 2010 01:07 (seven years ago) Permalink

And I must have read about Turkish minimal techno in some comments Masonic Boom made elsewhere.

Onur Özer is the bloke I was talking about.


I never did get to go to Istanbul last year. :-(

Masonic Boom, Friday, 19 February 2010 11:53 (seven years ago) Permalink

Thanks. I like the colors there, but the rhythms are too close to regular "dance music" type stuff for me, on first listen anyway.

_Rudipherous_, Friday, 19 February 2010 13:38 (seven years ago) Permalink

Well, it is Minimal Techno after all! Just done by a Turkish person. I couldn't find his better e.p. on YouTube, unfortunately (Red Cabaret) but it is still Techno more than Turkish.

For the Middle Eastern music with dance elements (rather than techno with Turkish elements) I still prefer Harem and Natasha Atlas and stuff like that. I definitely mentioned Harem above, and Atlas I think has her own thread elsewhere.

Of the Finders Keepers stuff, it's funny, I loved the Ersen stuff but wasn't that keen on Mustafa Ozkent. I think the latter really didn't live up to the promise of its cover.

Masonic Boom, Friday, 19 February 2010 13:44 (seven years ago) Permalink

p.s. I think half of my love of Turkish music is that I love the sound and feel of the language so much.

Masonic Boom, Friday, 19 February 2010 13:45 (seven years ago) Permalink

Well, it is Minimal Techno after all!

Well, yeah, I was just hoping that somehow the Turkish side of it would blunt the techno side a little, and since getting into Black Noise I now realize that minimal techno can work for me sometimes, unless that album is just a complete anomaly. (I think one reason Black Noise works for me is that there are a lot of other rhythmic things going on besides the sort of foundational techno rhythms.)

_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 20 February 2010 00:57 (seven years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

This rocks the funky beats:


I think I came across this singer while I was searching for Samira Toufic youtubes, which makes sense because she seems like a Turkish equivalent. I haven't listened to enough Turkish music to feel sure about where she falls in terms of relative virtuosity though. But anyway, a good discovery.

_Rudipherous_, Sunday, 20 February 2011 02:08 (six years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

Liking this Turkish soundtrack (I think it's a soundtrack but now I don't see whatever I saw that gave me that idea) more than I'd expect:


European chamber music, some Turkish instruments, low-key singing, dashes of electronics.

_Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 12 June 2013 02:13 (four years ago) Permalink

Sorry, for the Spotifyless, that is Taner Okyol's album Birds of Passage.

_Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 12 June 2013 02:15 (four years ago) Permalink

Akyol not Okyol. Let's not get Omme Kalsomme about it.

_Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 12 June 2013 02:16 (four years ago) Permalink

I might actually like Traveller/Yolcu more, but I've been in the music for instrumental music lately, which might explain it. The bazouk (I guess it's bazouk, or something very close) is in the spotlight on this one.

_Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 12 June 2013 04:00 (four years ago) Permalink

Rhythm track getting a bit too Bill Laswell now, unfortunately.

_Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 12 June 2013 04:01 (four years ago) Permalink

Lame thread title, imo.

_Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 12 June 2013 12:39 (four years ago) Permalink

every time you update this thread i think about posting a list of the turkish albums + rereleases i've been digging this year but i think i've mentioned them all on the world thread already.

Mordy , Wednesday, 12 June 2013 15:31 (four years ago) Permalink

Rachel Devitt did a playlist on Rhapsody last week; even if you can't listen to it, you can see what she included:



xhuxk, Wednesday, 12 June 2013 16:44 (four years ago) Permalink

One of my all-time favourite songs, Turkish or otherwise: Sezen Aksu's "Kavaklar".


breastcrawl, Wednesday, 12 June 2013 20:27 (four years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

It's the off-brand Türkvizyon Song Contest tonight. Various Turkic-language-speaking countries / regions, from Gagauzia to Kabardino-Balkaria, will be fighting it out.


Not sure if it's being streamed internationally but might be fun.

Wristy Hurlington (ShariVari), Wednesday, 19 November 2014 15:51 (three years ago) Permalink


disconnected externalized and unrecognizable signifying structure (nakhchivan), Wednesday, 19 November 2014 16:16 (three years ago) Permalink

seven months pass...


I probably listen to less Turkish pop than i should given that the only places remotely near to me that sell CDs stock nothing else, but i've been playing this a lot.

who epitomises beta better than (ShariVari), Saturday, 4 July 2015 20:38 (two years ago) Permalink

Speaking of "Bangir"s, this one is a real jam:


Ayse Hatun Önal ft. Onurr - Güm Güm

breastcrawl, Monday, 6 July 2015 00:41 (two years ago) Permalink

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