Thursday, March 15, 2007

Baba Zula

The Japan Times Online - March 15, 2007
Underground music maniacs, the real hardcore otaku (obsessed fans), have long raved about the Turkish psychedelic music of the 1960s and '70s -- crazy reverb-drenched, twangy-guitar tracks that sounded like The Ventures if they'd been a belly-dancer backing band with a taste for hashish and quarter-tone tunings.

This stuff never traveled much, though, and only recently has this music started reappearing on cleverly packaged compilations wrapped in an aura of retro-chic, on albums like "Love, Peace, and Poetry: Turkish Psychedelic Music" and "Hava Narghile," which is the "Nuggets" of Anatolian psyche-pop.

A first glance at Istanbul-based band Baba Zula -- with their garish, baroque visual style and classic, shaggy boho looks -- might leave you thinking that one of these '70s hippie bands has aged particularly well. When you listen, though, you'll hear a stylistic pastiche that is thoroughly postmodern -- mixing traces of dub and improv-rock with traditional Turkish instrumentation.
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