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Go to the Barış Manço website  Barış Manço - 2023 [Emre Grafson Müzik - 1975]

Thanks to compilations of Turkish beat and garage music called Turkish Delights and Hava Narghile I was put on the trail of the Turkish progrock of the seventies. Barış Manço reportedly has a legendary status in his homeland and has been making music since his 15th in 1958. In 1975 he released this gem, a futuristic progressive rock album where the odd meters aren’t odd, but firmly rooted in the tradition.

Appreciators of vintage synths should be very happy with this music as there are plenty. Moog, Korg and even a drummachine are used to concoct a warm yet spaced-out atmosphere. The albums intro, Kayaların Oğlu reminds more than a little of Prelude from Parliament’s The Clones Of Dr. Funkenstein. The track also features some fieldrecordings, which return in 2024. Listening to the melancholic Gelinlik Kızların Dansı, King Crimson’s Epitaph springs to mind. The melancholy continues with Durma Ha Durma. In the traditional sounding Çay Elinden Öteye tune Barış gets backup from female singers where in the end there’s chattering that sounds like it’s lifted from some movie. In the albums closing track, a well-known (I knew it, that’s for sure) folktune, Tavuklara Kışt De you’ll hear the saz interplay with odd duckcalls and mouthharp. All the experiments aside, it’s great to hear the enthousiasm about Western rock and the new and exciting synthesizers while Barış Manço’s melancholic voice and the use of Turkish instruments and musical ideas keep everything grounded in the tradition of his homeland. The endresult is a curious but warm musical adventure.

The vinyl of this album probably will do well on eBay. Luckily this release has been rereleased on cd, albeit with rather ugly cover-art (I posted the original LP-art). This wonderful album puts me on the brink of discovering a whole aspect of the Turkish musichistory that I haven’t been aware of before. Overhere you’d mainly hear Türkpop, Arabesk or, at the other end of the spectrum, ethnic and artmusic.

I feel this era in Turkish rock is a place that deserves to be mined, at least here in the West, as I don’t know how Turkish people look back on this period. Circumstances seem to have pushed Barış into the world of entertainment. His untimely death prevented him of restoring his true rocker identity but here we have a fine document to certify it.

Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5

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