Diskotür 1976 / Pharaway Sounds 2017
Anatolian pastorale taken to a new level – and left for posterity.
Known as “Ensemble d’Cappadocia” abroad, Turkish rock pioneers’ self-titled record was their third – and the last one in the ensemble’s original life span. On the verge of the band’s breakup, it turned out to be all about the players, not the songs as, without vocalists such as Bariş Manço, instrumental factor came forward to bare previously well-hidden aspect of the group’s brilliance, while retaining their melodic sharpness.
Here’s the reason why the fine texture of “Kâtip Arzuhalim Yaz Yare Böyle” is as sensual in acoustic filigree detail as it is muscular in electric twang that, together, create a 3D panorama of Anatolian landscape – with a delicate groove to enhance the piece’s cinematic allure. Livelier and more intricate, “Hicaz Mandıra” would be a prime example of Anatolian folk rock – or, rather, amplified traditional idiom – if not for “Karşıki Yayla” which expands on a village dance via Cahit Berkay’s blistering guitar solo.
Quite unexpectedly, cello and mandolins gently propel “Yine Bir Gülnihal” in the diraction of baroque eloquence, leaving it to “Şehnaz Longa” to speed up the exquisite spin of the Bach-inspired lace. Yet while “Çanakkale İçinde Aynalı Çarşı” taps into an ancient fount of tears – given a Morricone-like coating – “Özüm Kaldı” pitches a razor-edged riff into what essentially is a ballad. It was a fitting farewell for the musicians who, soon after this record’s release, to reconvene in 1993, and as a goodbye it’s as memorable as it gets.