Filed under: Turkey
This week’s guest post is by Jonathan Ward. Much like myself, Jonathan is afflicted with a rare strain of obsessive-compulsive disorder known as “record collector-itis”. But his case is much more severe, being that he collects 78s. He has put this adversity to good use with the truly amazing Excavated Shellac. The writing on his site is consistently entertaining and well researched – and puts my barely coherent ramblings to shame. Be sure to check out his Dublab session – it’s the next best thing to having him come over to your house with a stack of 78s.
I was very happy when Stuart at Radiodiffusion asked me if I’d like to provide a guest post. First, because his blog is a fascinating source of hard to find international music, and second, because it brings me out of my little world of 78rpm records featured in my own Excavated Shellac. I thought I’d throw out an important Turkish single from the era of “Anadolu Pop” (Anatolian Pop) – the influential and groundbreaking style of Turkish rock which combined both psychedelic and progressive rock influences with traditional folkloric elements.
This genre of music has been discovered and exploited by various stateside and overseas reissue companies over the past five years or so – with good reason. It’s fantastic! I suppose the US-based craze started with three compilations, Hava Narghile (Dionysus), Turkish Delights (Grey Past), and a Turkish volume of the ongoing Love, Peace & Poetry series (Shadoks). Since then, Finders Keepers has released volumes by Mustafaz Özkent, Selda, and Ersen, Shadoks has released CDs of Bunalim and Edip Akbayram, World Psychedelic has reissued important LPs by 3 Hür-el, Bülent, Erkin Koray, and Moğollar.
But this doesn’t necessarily mean the genre is tapped out. Turkey was a singles-based music industry until the mid-70s or so, and there are lots of artists that haven’t yet gone through the hipster reissue machine (Bariş Manço, for instance, hasn’t gotten his US compilation yet – though Madlib’s brother Oh No has been sampling him for quite a while). One of these is the short-lived Ağri Daği Efsanesi.
Ağri Daği Efsanesi was an early-70s collaboration lasting just two singles, between Nejat Teksoy, a member of the garage-y rock band Mavi Işiklar, and the legendary Murat Ses, keyboardist and original member of the renowned band Moğollar (“The Mongols”), widely considered the founding fathers of Anadolu Pop (and inventors of the term itself). To understand the origins of Anadolu Pop, the first two groundbreaking LPs by Moğollar would be the place to start – and Murat Ses arranged the bulk of those songs. Moğollar ‘s first LP, released by Guilde Internationale du Disque in France and titled Les Danses et Rythmes de la Turquie d’hier á aujourd’hui under the French version of their name, “Les Mogol,” was released in Turkey under the name Anadolu Pop, in fact. On it, psychedelic rock mixed with saz and davul, keyboards and organ mixed with Anatolian fiddle playing – this was an album that helped spawn a whole movement.
Murat Ses stayed with Moğollar until about 1972. Sometime around this time he formed Ağri Daği Efsanesi, named after a track on the first Moğollar LP and meaning “The Legend of Mount Ararat,” while also contributing to singles by Bariş Manço (Lambaya Püf De) and Edip Akbayram (Kaşlarin Karasina) throughout the 70s. He eventually left Turkey in the late 1970s and moved to Linz, Austria, where he received both a Masters and a Doctorate in Economics. He continues to release music today.
Catalog number DT 5089 on Diskotur of Turkey, released 1972.
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