Helmed by electric saz pioneer Murat Ertel, over the last 20 years Turkish outfit BaBa ZuLa have wielded their own unique sound, inspired by traditional psych folk sounds but catapulted into new realms by the band's collective influences.
Collaborations with Can's Jaki Leibezeit, Mad Professor and Einstürzende Neubauten's Alexander Hacke are evidence of that. It's an exploratory approach that's helped the band weave disparate yet cohesive threads into their own output, from kraut, experimental and electronic to jazz, reggae and rhythm.
Their dubwise experiments, almost all in album form, have landed on the likes of Glitterbeat, Rainbow45 and regular home Doublemoon, but its in their energetic improvised live performances that these psychedelic elements really come to life.
To celebrate the release of their latest LP Hayvan Gibi, the sixth instalment in Night Dreamer's direct-to-disc recordings, bandleader Murat selects some of his favourite Turkish psych tracks...
"When I was a small child we were buying Turkish psych songs on 45s as they were released, so I started listening long before it became hip. They were very very popular and used in many movies - those guys were really rock stars. I am very happy with the craze for this music nowadays but I can only give you a taste of the tip of the iceberg. It is huge, heavy and deep and when people outside of Turkey try to recreate it, you feel a gap, just like when you hear the Rolling Stones playing blues cover instead of the blues legend Howlin' Wolf."
Buy Hayvan Gibi HERE. Baba Zula are part of the Istanbul Psychedelic series at EFG London Jazz Festival on 21st November.
Ersen & Dadaslar - Bir Ayrilik Bir Yoksulluk Bir Olum
One of my favourite tracks! The traditional lyrics sung by Karacaoglan are about three main troubles of the world, separation, poverty and death. Fantastic band and singer, electric guitar solo by the master Fehiman Ugurdemir and eternal bass riff by arranger Taner Öngür.