CD Rock Review

Baba Zula: Anatolian folk, experimental rock, krautrock, psychedelia and…oh, read the review and find out

Title: XX
Label: Glitterbeat
OK, here’s the recipe. Just pass me the mixing bowl and I’ll chuck the lot in. What do we have here? Well, it’s all from Istanbul for a start and the influences stem from the 60s and 70s (although this band were formed in 1996). The mixture combines Anatolian folk, experimental rock, krautrock, psychedelia and a host of weird beats that are too wacked out to reside in the house for too long: you’ll have to chain these up in the shed outside.

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Imagine that lot on one CD. Then repeat the process but strain through an intense dub filter for a second CD ‘bothered’ by such big names as the Mad Professor, Sly & Robbie, Dr Das from the Asian Dub Foundation and Alexander Hacke from Einsturzende Neubauten. As a package brought out of the oven at Gas Mark 7? It’s intense.

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At the moment, the band is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Hence, this 2CD package which roams the group’s ensure career but – and get this for an angle – only featuring unreleased tracks with sources stemming from analogue, digital tape, MP3, you name it. I love these guys. Kind to their fans.

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The end result is stunning. Quite stunning.

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Traditional instruments are here twisted and mangled and diffused, native language vocals are delivered in a foggy, distorted manner, reverb washes the soundstage, drugged-fuelled percussion staggers from one speaker to the next and then, when a guitar strums right on the centre the of the stereo image, it provides a false sense of security because, reality takes a dive from that moment.

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Rhythms vary, bend and repeat in unexpected ways but there’s a real catchy element to the entire production that hooks you…somehow. It’s amazing. I’m amazed. I need to grab their discography. Mainly because I know that it will be amazing.

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