Ersin Tas

Sunday, August 10, 2014

A very brief introduction to Turkish Music

As I was searching for doom bands a conversation with  Billy Goate reminded me that I had very little to share on Turkish rock scene. So I gathered up a little info for the bands that I used to listen to now on then. This list is certainly not a complete list but it will give you an idea where to start with. I deliberately chose random musicians and groups so that when you search for those bands you may be able find others as well.

Erkan Oğur - The pioneer of fretless guitar, Erkan Ogur is a very well known guitarist in Turkish music scene. His playing is a mixture of Turkish folk music, jazz and some rock elements. Most of the music he plays is instrumental. He also runs a band called Telvin which I saw live last year. Erkan Oğur's music is certainly soothing and his riffs are reminders of Turkish music.

Akın Eldes - Akın Eldes has loads of albums since his departure from Bulutsuzluk Özlemi.He plays only instrumental stuff. His music is also a blend off jazz and rock but his tunes are more catchy to the ear. I also took some guitar lessons from him. Awesome guy :)

Yavuz Çetin - A very well known ( and missed) blues guitarist who was very popular before his death. His lyrics are awesome too...if you speak Turkish.

Pentagram - One of the most famous heavy metal bands in Turkey. In the late 90s there was a "witchhunt" of some satanists because of some unresolved murders in the cemeteries and many people were taken under custody. It turned out that there were no satanists lurking around and sacrificing people to Satan. Pentagram made a song called "Bir" which explains clearly that they are not satanists. It is by far the most popular song of Pentagram.

Murder King - Formely a cover bar group ,now an industrial- metal group that released an album this year. They also played under Megadeth and Gojira last week. The theme of Gezi Park Protests and unresolved murders of people in 90s are very prominent in their musi. They have strict political stance and they reflect it to their music.

Decaying Purity - Death metal band of Istanbul from Kadiköy district. They have released many albums since their inception in 2005. They played many shows in Europe. Recently they released a new album called "Malignant Resurrection of The Fallen Souls". These guys as they see give no concession from their death metal approach. They strictly distance themselves from metal bands who forgot their roots and I admire that. If you are looking for death metal band by definition this is metal band you listen to. Their vocalist and guitarist has also a side project called Engulfed which has more slow but more deadly feel to their song

Humbaba and Dionysian are doom bands that are very new but have roots in the death metal and rock scene. Due to previous experiences and smallness of the metal scene in Kadıköy, people are able to share and learn from their commercial and economical experiences. So I can say that the scene progresses much more faster than it used to.

Apart from these bands there are few sites that shares news about Turkish rock and metal scene. I only follow one of those zines and it 's by far the only one that shares good reviews.It 's called Morbidzine, check it out.

As I mentioned above the list is certainly not a complete list of Turkish artists. I advise anyone to watch Anadolu'nun Kayıp Şarkıları to get an idea about how deep and vast the Turkish music culture is. It is certainly not popular, a mystic and rarely recorded. As far as for the metal and doom scene, compared to foreign scenes we are taking baby steps but it will improve by time.



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