Tag Archives: turkish music

A Rare Chance to See Haunting Large-Ensemble Turkish Music in the West Village

Source: New York Music Daily

One of the most serendipitous developments in New York music this year is that Seyyah, who might be this city’s most epic Turkish band at the moment, have been playing more lately. Which is more impressive than it seems, considering that percussionist/singer Jenny Luna has been plenty busy with her own similarly haunting Turkish-Balkan band Dolunay. Pretty much everybody else in Seyyah plays with other bands as well. Tanbur lute player Adam Good is also in Dolunay, and lends his prowess on many stringed instruments to numerous other groups including sizzling rebetiko metal band Greek Judas. Oudist ...

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Wild Turkish Psychedelic Rock Rescued From Obscurity

Source: New York Music Daily

One of the most amazing albums released this year is Uzelli Psychedelic Anadolu, a compilation streaming at Spotify that pays homage to the Turkish cassette label that released some of the wildest, most surreal sounds to emerge from that part of the world. Spanning from 1975 to 1984, this trippy ten-track playlist collects hard funk, symphonic rock, disco, electrified Turkish traditional ballads and anthems…and what sounds like a long radio commercial.

String synth, organ, wry wah synth and soaring, otherworldly, microtonal zurna oboe mingle in Zor Beyler’s suspenseful, lushly anthemic Gozumdeki Yaslar. The second track, by guitarslinger Erkin Koray, is ...

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A Tantalizing Taste of Golden Fest Last Night at Trans-Pecos

Source: New York Music Daily

It’s not likely that the WNYU folks had Golden Fest in mind when they booked three of New York’s most exciting bands to play Trans-Pecos last night. But the triplebill of riveting Macedonian duo Glas, hotshot oudist Kane Mathis and haunting Turkish band Dolunay are all vets of the annual Brooklyn mecca for sounds from across the Balkans and the Middle East as well. Golden Fest 2018 takes place next January 12 and 13; this was a hint of the kind of wild intensity and stark rapture that will be in almost absurd abundance there that weekend.

Glas, the ...

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Turkish Star Halil Sezai’s Brooding Revolutionary Ballads Haunt the Crowd at Drom

Source: New York Music Daily

Saturday night at Drom, Turkish crooner Halil Sezai eventually got the crowd singing along. But he didn’t do it with flag-waving Eurovision-style stadium cliches. He did it with a carefully crafted set of allusive, slow-to-midtempo ballads about revolution and the relentless stress of life in a police state, in styles ranging from moody parlor pop, to methodically crescenddoing anthems awash in minor keys, with microtonally-infused fills and solos delivered by his absolutely brilliant clarinetist. To call this music for our time is an understatement to the extreme.

Sezai sat for the duration of the show, which made sense considering that ...

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Wild Balkan Band Tipsy Oxcart Bring Their Intensity to a Free Upper West Side Park Gig

Source: New York Music Daily

Rule of thumb is that if a band is reasonably competent in daylight, they’re probably great after the sun goes down. Considering how wild Tipsy Oxcart can get at night, it was no surprise to see them kick out the jams last week at Madison Square Park despite taking the stage just after noon The fiery Balkan and Middle Eastern band have squeezed their way onto the summer parks concert circuit, and they’re doing that again this Wednesday, August 9 at 1 PM at the triangle at 66th and Broadway.

Their opening number was epic. Tricky syncopation, slashing chromatic edges, ...

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An Intense, Mesmerizing New Album From the Mehmet Polat Trio

Source: New York Music Daily

The Mehmet Polat Trio are one of the world’s most distinctive and cutting-edge groups in Middle Eastern and Turkish music. Their songs are epic and picturesque, incorporating elements of West African, Andalucian, Romany and Balkan sounds as well. Bandleader and oud virtuoso Polat can play with blazing speed if he wants, but he typically prefers a dynamically charged approach. His compositions have a cinematic sensibility that gets very dark on occasion. In this group he’s joined by kora player Dymphi Peeters and ney flutist Sinan Arat. Their show last summer at Lincoln Center was one of the most compelling concerts ...

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Saturday Night at Golden Fest: Best Concert of 2017, Hands Down

Source: New York Music Daily

Game plan for last night’s big blowout at this year’s Golden Fest was to see as many unfamiliar bands as possible. That wasn’t difficult, considering that there were more than sixty Balkan and Balkan-influenced acts playing five different spaces in about eight hours at Brooklyn’s magnificent Grand Prospect Hall. The way things turned out, it was fun to catch a few familiar favorites among a grand total of fifteen different groups. Consider: when the swaying chandelier hanging over Raya Brass Band looks like it could crash on top of them at any second, and sax player Greg Squared has launched ...

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Dolunay Bring Their Turkish and Balkan Magic to Barbes on Saturday Nights This Month

Source: New York Music Daily

A Dolunay show is like a long magic carpet ride: you never know where one song ends and another begins, and either way, you don’t want it to end. If there’s any sound that’s appropriate for this particular era in New York, it’s sad songs written by immigrants in hostile territory. Most of Dolunay’s serpentine ballads, drenched in melancholy and longing, draw on the tradition of the Rumeli people, native Turkish speakers who brought the spine-tingling ornamentation and Middle Eastern tones of their music to the Balkans.

With her full, expressive voice, vast range and wounded vibrato, frontwoman/drummer Jenny Luna is an ideal ...

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The Taksim Trio’s Album No. 2: Intricate, Rapturous, Haunting Beauty

Source: New York Music Daily

One of the year’s most rapturously beautiful, plaintively lush albums is Turkish classical luminaries the Taksim Trio‘s latest release, simply titled Taksim Trio No. 2, streaming at Spotify. Baglama player Ismail Tuncbilek, clarinetist Husnu Senlendirici and kanun player Aytaç Dogan weave haunting, serpentine arrangements to get lost in. Their music’s intricacy is such that unless you listen closely, it’s often hard to tell who’s playing what. Yet the group has a conversational tightness: despite the fact that everybody’s playing a lot of rippling, spiraling notes, nobody steps on each other. The overall ambience tends to be pensive and brooding: most everything here is ...

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The Taksim Trio’s Album No. 2: Intricate, Rapturous, Haunting Beauty

Source: New York Music Daily

One of the year’s most rapturously beautiful, plaintively lush albums is Turkish classical luminaries the Taksim Trio‘s latest release, simply titled Taksim Trio No. 2, streaming at Spotify. Baglama player Ismail Tuncbilek, clarinetist Husnu Senlendirici and kanun player Aytaç Dogan weave haunting, serpentine arrangements to get lost in. Their music’s intricacy is such that unless you listen closely, it’s often hard to tell who’s playing what. Yet the group has a conversational tightness: despite the fact that everybody’s playing a lot of rippling, spiraling notes, nobody steps on each other. The overall ambience tends to be pensive and brooding: most everything here is ...

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The Mehmet Polat Trio Play a Rapturous, Paradigm-Shifting Lincoln Center Debut

Source: New York Music Daily

Watching the Mehmet Polat Trio in their Lincoln Center debut last night, what became formidably clear was that these are three of the best musicians in the world on their respective instruments. But not only do oudist and bandleader Polat, ngoni player Victor Sams and ney flutist Pelin Başar push the envelope as far as Middle Eastern and African music go, they do it with gravitas, and virtuosity, and soul, and made good on Polat’s promise to draw the audience into their magical interchanges and improvisations, holding what appeared to be a full house in a near dream-state for over ...

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Dolunay Raises the Bar for an Amazing Night of Music Downtown This Friday

Source: New York Music Daily

More about that amazing lineup this Friday, January 15 at Alwan for the Arts at 16 Beaver St. in the financial district. As you may remember from yesterday’s piece here, the acts are slightly staggered, Lolapalooza style, on two stages, so that you – and the booking agents in town for this week’s convention – can sample all of them between 7:45 and around 11. The concert isn’t cheap – $30 – but the lineup is killer. Starting at 7:45 PM: on the fourth floor (the main space of this Arabic-diaspora cultural center), there’s singer Jenny Luna’s exhilarating Turkish/Balkan/Middle Eastern ...

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Sherita Bring Their Haunting, Intense Balkan-Inspired Sounds to the East Village

Source: New York Music Daily

Sherita play a mix of their own haunting, slinky arrangements of otherworldly Balkan and Turkish folk songs. along with pensively expansive, often hypnotic original material. With the off-the-cuff electricity of a first-class jamband, sizzling chops and the purist attention to detail of serious musicologists, they’re one of New York’s best bands. Their name is not Middle Eastern but Brooklynese: Sherita is the pink dinosaur on the billboard over the garage at the corner of Atlantic and Classon Avenues in Bed-Stuy. The group’s most recent Barbes show was one of the most riveting performances by any band in this city this ...

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Intense, Slyly Shapeshifting Middle Eastern Jamband Shtreiml Hits the Upper West Side

Source: New York Music Daily

Shtreiml are one of the world’s most darkly exhilarating and distinctive jambands. There is no group anywhere who sound anything like them. Their signature sound – a psychedelic, funky, sometimes phantasmagorical circus rock mashup that updates traditional Jewish and Turkish melodies from across the centuries – is highlighted by Jason Rosenblatt’s spiraling harmonica and Ismail Fencioglu’s rippling, often savagely incisive oud. Rosenblatt is famous for being being one of the few harmonica virtuosos who can play the standard diatonic blues harp like a chromatic harp – think the rustic, otherworldly overtones of Little Walter or Howlin’ Wolf rather than Dave Matthews. Fencioglu ...

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Que Vlo-Ve Bring Haunting, Edgy Greek Crime Rhymes and Revolutionary Anthems to Barbes

Source: New York Music Daily

Que Vlo-Ve aren’t the only band in town who play haunting, Turkish-influenced Greek revolutionary songs and hash-smoking anthems from the 20s and 30s, but they’re one of the best. Right now they’ve got three singles up at Bandcamp as free downloads, which offer an intriguing glimpse of the kind of material they’re likely to air out at their upcoming show at Barbes on Nov 26 at 8 PM. The first song, O Psilos, shows off the lively, upbeat side of their music. The second, Ferte Preza Na Prezaro, dances along with forceful Greek vocals from frontman/percussionist Quince Marcum ...

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Haunting, Angst-Fueled Anthems and a Drom Show by Philly Art-Rockers Barakka

Source: New York Music Daily

Philadelphia-based Turkish art-rock band Barakka deserve to be vastly better known than they are. Even though the majority of their lyrics are in Turkish, their relentlessly intense, mostly minor-key anthems are memorable and often haunting, transcending any language barrier. They’re playing at Drom on Oct 2 at 7:30 PM, opening for another more psychedelic (and controversial) Turkish rocker, Ahmet Muhsin. Advance tix are $20 and very highly recommended because the diaspora comes out in full force for shows like this.

Barakka’s brilliant album – streaming at their Reverbnation page – is titled Uzaklardan, meaning “far away” or “from a ...

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From the Black Sea to Spanish Harlem in a Single Day at Lincoln Center

Source: New York Music Daily

This year’s Lincoln Center Out of Doors has been as reliably fun and eclectic as ever. And it’s more watchable than ever since many of the events are being simulcast (and promise to be archived for streaming later). As far as music from around the world is concerned, that’s been arguably better than ever. The previous weekend’s standout concert modeled itself on Globalfest, the dance-friendly annual spinoff of the January booking agents’ convention held at Webster Hall. Sunday’s show on the plaza mirrored the arguably even more deliriously fun, Middle Eastern-inspired Alwan-a-Thon conceived by the Center for Traditional ...

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She’Koyokh’s Wild Goats & Unmarried Women Runs Wild

Source: New York Music Daily

Wild, polyglot eight-piece British band She’Koyokh blast through music from across the global Jewish diaspora with the same fiery intensity they bring to feral old folk songs from the Balkans. Fronted by haunting Kurdish-Turkish chanteuse Cigdem Aslan – who recently earned a rave review here for her otherworldly solo album, Mortissa, a collection of Turkish and Greek rembetiko anthems – the band also includes members from the US, UK, Greece and Serbia. They may play big European concert halls now, but they got their start busking, and that jamband energy still resonates throughout their latest album Wild Goats & ...

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She’Koyokh’s Wild Goats & Unmarried Women Runs Wild

Source: New York Music Daily

Wild, polyglot eight-piece British band She’Koyokh blast through music from across the global Jewish diaspora with the same fiery intensity they bring to feral old folk songs from the Balkans. Fronted by haunting Kurdish-Turkish chanteuse Cigdem Aslan – who recently earned a rave review here for her otherworldly solo album, Mortissa, a collection of Turkish and Greek rembetiko anthems – the band also includes members from the US, UK, Greece and Serbia. They may play big European concert halls now, but they got their start busking, and that jamband energy still resonates throughout their latest album Wild Goats & ...

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Haunting, Kinetic New Arrangements of Turkish Folk Gems

Source: New York Music Daily

Canada is a hotbed for Romany jazz, due primarily to the influence of French music coming in through Quebec. Canada is also home to many excellent groups who play music similar to or influenced by Romany sounds, notably klezmer and Turkish music. Monteal-based Turkish music duo Ihtimanska are a prime example. Ariane Morin plays alto sax and kaval flute; Yoni Kaston alternates between accordion, piano and oud. Their fantastic album, a mix of brightly dancing and hauntingly otherworldly instrumentals, is streaming at their Bandcamp page. It’s a revealing reminder how richly influential Turkish music has been on cultures thousands ...

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Cigdem Aslan Revisits the 1920s Aegean Underground with a Riveting Intensity

Source: New York Music Daily

Istanbul-born singer Cigdem Aslan’s album Mortissa is a shout-out to the strong women and freedom fighters in Turkey and Greece in the 1920s and 30s, when the music of the underground, rembetiko, was banned on both sides for being too Arabic. If that doesn’t grab you, nothing will. It’s haunting, plaintive, rivetingly emotional stuff, with echoes of both klezmer and Egyptian melodies along with its obvious Greek and Turkish roots. This so-called “Anatolian blues,” with its bitter ironies and double meanings, was the stoner soundtrack to the revolutionary underworld that rose up in Smyrna, and Istanbul, and port cities ...

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MWE Rocks Out New and Classic Turkish Sounds

Source: New York Music Daily

Bay Area band MWE play explosive, raw, intense music from Turkey, Armenia and Central Asia as well as their own songs which draw on those sounds. The band get their otherworldly sonics from the blend of sax, clarinets and the keening overtones of a Turkish zurna over the booming pulse of a davul marching drum. Their high-voltage, often haunting new album Second Wind – streaming all the way through at their Bandcamp page – kicks off with an instrumental cover of Bibining, by Turkmenistan-based group Ashkhabad. A hard-hitting clip-clop rhythm anchors supertight, eerie horn harmonies with echoes of Persian, ...

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Cutting Edge Balkan Acoustic Guitar Music from Tev Stevig

Source: New York Music Daily

Tev Stevig is one of the world’s most brilliantly individualistic guitarists. His edgy, Middle Eastern-informed electric solos have been a high point of recordings and performances by Boston Romany dance band Klezwoods, psychedelically vaudevillian jazz band Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica and other projects. His latest recording, Jeni Jol (meaning “new wave,” more or less, in the Romany language), is the most individualistic thing he’s ever done. It’s a solo instrumental album of traditional Balkan and Turkish tunes played mostly on fretless acoustic nylon-string guitar using clawhammer fingerpicking. Until Earl Scruggs popularized his three-finger style, clawhammer technique was the foundation for ...

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