Pharaway Sounds 2016
Psyched-up grooves and Eastern patterns woven into a patchwork by electric saz operator – and thrown onto drum ‘n’ bass by his international circle.
Having moved from Istanbul to Cologne, former FAIRUZ DERIN BULUT member eagerly embraced European electronic scene and was warmly welcomed into it without paying the price of identity loss. Quite the contrary: on Hafiz’s solo debut, national colors infuse arrangements, saz passing its charge to guitar, if not the rhythms, because these are of various stripes and, more often than not, have a rocksteady bedrock. No wonder, then, that there’s a remix version of the record for further meddling with the listener’s brainwaves.
The Turk skank sets in from opener “Hayat bu malum” – once spaced-out synthesizers shoot through the piece’s slow-burn buzz and sinister whispers of a vocal – yet the “John Dere” riddim sheds the drone in favor of dancehall bliss which has a great toasting thrown onto a riff as an alternative. Just as well, where funk may undermine the tension and twang of “Günahkar helvasi” before they get submerged in dub and kissed by acidic six-string, the percussive “Belki son kez” proposes a claustrophobic kind of panorama, glossy if slightly stiffening, while the pulsing beats under “Ne diyeyim” only add to the track’s sparse transparency.
An interesting experiment, this platter is a testament to music’s global compatibility. Quite a reason to boast ‘n’ toast.