Page 1 of 1

Turkish pop

PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 3:00 pm
by Gordon Neill
In the wake of Charlie’s recent burst of enthusiasm for Turkish music, I’ve been pushing a bit more at that particular open door. I’ve picked up a few Turkish CDs over the past few years and liked what I heard, but I’m never too sure what to try next. So, as usual, I’ve tried to follow Charlie’s pointing finger and see where it takes me.

In this case, I found myself at Zihnimusic to buy a Muharrem Ertas compilation. As usual, I couldn’t help sniffing around the shop and bought another CD as well. As usual, it was a bit more poppy and trashy. A bit like going into a specialist shop and loudly ordering a Muddy Waters CD and then, when no-one’s looking, surreptitiously asking for some under-the-counter Madonna.

Image

And so I ended up with this CD by Reyhan Karaca. I know, I know. Me neither. But she has a pretty face and, as they say, the best way to judge a CD is always by looking at the cover. Certainly, she looks attractive enough to be invited onto Charlie’s radio show. Oh, and I quite liked the brief song samples on the website.

So far, I think the Muharrem Erta is fine. Or at least, I’m pretty sure it’ll be fine whenever I actually get around to listening to it properly. The trouble is that I’m completely besotted with this Reyhan Karaca CD. It’s not quite perfect. There’s a couple of tracks that don’t quite do it for me. And her voice can sound a little thin and stretched at times, particularly on the slower songs. Oh, and there are those electronic keyboards and synthesizer noises that so many of those foreigners think are dead whizzy.

But, apart from its imperfections, it’s perfect. This isn’t music for those interested in authentic traditional music. One whiff of those electronic keyboards and they’d come out in a nasty rash. No, this is full-on pop. The kind of stuff that I’d imagine gets played in Turkish discos and bars. The soundtrack to acne and teenage fumblings. I’m guessing that this is a greatest hits compilation from the past ten years or so, but it’s hard to tell as, for some reason, the sleeve notes are all in Turkish.

It’s a strange mix. At times, it sounds very Western, with songs that I could imagine a Madonna or a Britney mangling. But at other times it sounds distinctly Eastern, with unexpected time shifts and chord changes. Best of all, the songs feature lots of those swooping strings, pulling at my heart like a seagull toying with an old pie.

With each listen, I keep getting hooked on a new pop gem. But I’d have to say Reyhan Karaca is at her best when she’s bouncy. So here’s a clip of my favourite track, Gidesim Gelmiyor (the video isn’t up to much, but there are some nice frocks and an appealing shot of her in a tub of what appears to strawberry jam).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPsNucStTPM

*****

Re: Yaman Olacak, by Reyhan Raraca

PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 11:44 am
by Charlie
Gordon Neill wrote:But, apart from its imperfections, it’s perfect.

Well put! She had a nice low voice, but I suspect that disco beat is not going to sound right on my radio shows.

Gordon Neill wrote: at other times it sounds distinctly Eastern, with unexpected time shifts and chord changes. Best of all, the songs feature lots of those swooping strings, pulling at my heart like a seagull toying with an old pie.

The first time I went to Turkey (1993), I was struck by how every television station seemed to devote all daytime programming to female singers backed by big orchestras, and all the women had fantastically good voices. Unable to judge the quality of the words, I concluded that Turkey must have the highest standard of 'average' pop music of any country I had been to (admittedly, not that many). I resolved to try to catch up on Turkish pop and bought cassettes by the handful. But they proved hard to digest and still sit in a drawer somewhere. So now we will depend on Gordon to trawl through applicable websites, and duly report his findings.

Mission possible

PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 8:55 pm
by Gordon Neill
Charlie suspected:

that disco beat is not going to sound right on my radio shows.


I suspect you're right. Eclectic people can have very narrow tastes.

.... and then promptly announced:

I resolved to try to catch up on Turkish pop... but [it] proved hard to digest.... so now we will depend on Gordon to trawl through applicable websites, and duly report his findings


Mission accepted. It'll be worth it if I can stumble across something else as juicy as Reyhan Raraca. Er.... anyone able to give me any clues about sites to visit, names to look out for? As with everything else in the universe, I'm pretty ignorant about Turkish pop.

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 12:32 pm
by tulsehill charlie
Gordon, look out for Rojin, a Kurdish pop star who combines traditional and modern styles with plenty of glamour and a strong dose of protest about the treatment of women. Her album Jan/Sizi from 2005 is good.
Here's a video of one of her songs with lots going on (don't ask me)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0JvGgqHDTk
Here she is driving the masses into a frenzy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A51sTFy2uQg
and here's a (very) heavy blues
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dn7S0U4GsA0

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 1:06 pm
by tulsehill charlie
and to add some spice, this has just popped up:

Kurdish performer Rojin quits TRT-6 and says they treated her like a criminal - KurdishMedia.com15/04/2009 00:00:00
London (KurdishMedia.com) 15 April 2009: According to the daily Turkish newspaper - Radikal - the Kurdish musical artist and performer, Rojin, recently quit her program on TRT-6 after saying she was treated like a "criminal". She explained that she had no control over the program and expressed that there was a lack of trust in her by the management at TRT-6.

Rojin joined the government-run TRT-6 network in February and hosted her own show called "Rojiname". Her show provided entertainment and was also educational, helping to bring women’s issues in the spotlight for discussion.

Many Kurds criticized the popular star for joining the TRT-6 network, arguing that the network was designed as a propaganda tool by a Turkish government that refuses to seriously solve the Kurdish issue. Rojin responded to her fans that she was participating in hopes to simply help her people’s culture.

After only a couple of months, Rojin quit the station and stated to Radikal that her program was "treated as a potential crime and the host [Rojin] as a potential criminal." She explained that the network even refused to allow her to invite her own guests to the show and have control over many other aspects of the program. She said it was for these reasons she was quitting and not because of any threats as some had initially suspected.

TRT-6 is a government-run TV station and the first station to broadcast in the Kurdish language 24 hours a day. The opening of the station was a surprise to many since Kurdish is a language that has been banned in Turkey. While citizen’s usage of the language is now permitted, political officials are banned from using the language in any public or political institutions.

Many Kurds saw the opening of TRT-6 as political propaganda by the ruling Justice and Development Party-AKP ahead of the elections held in March of this year and an attempt to woo the Kurdish population in Turkey.

KurdishMedia.com15/04/2009 00:00:00

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 1:20 pm
by kas
I have been evesdropping a little, since Turkish (and Kurdish) music interests me a little as well.
Tulsehille Charlie, thanks very much for the Rojin recommendation. Brilliant singer and, apparently, an interesting and independent personality.

PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 1:01 pm
by Gordon Neill
Thanks Tulsehille Charlie for the tip on Rojin. I'm not keen on pop stars who want to lecture me, but I did like those clips, particularly the 'heavy blues'.

And, for what it's worth, I took the opportunity of asking the nice man at Zihnimusic to suggest another couple of Turkish pop things. I'm now awaiting delivery of two CDs: Ajda Pekkan - Aynen Oyle, Hadise- Deli Oglan. I've no idea what to expect, I'm not even sure which is the name of the artist and which is the name of the CD. But I shall report back in due course.

‘Aynen Oyle’by Ajda Pekkan and ‘Hadise’ by Hadise

PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 6:19 pm
by Gordon Neill
Oh dear. I was so taken with Reyhan Karaca’s album that I foolishly asked my supplier for a couple of something similar. Mr Zihnimusic cheerfully obliged with these two modern Turkish pop CDs. I should be careful what I ask for. Sometimes I get it. Both originate from Turkey, but have little Turkish about them. Both are gorgeous female singers, but seem to be cloned largely from Western genetic material. There’s traces of Turkish orchestration, but largely drowned in heavy disco dance rhythms and bass.

Image

Of the two CDs, ‘Aynen Oyle’ by Ajda Pekkan (or possibly ‘Ajda Pekkan’ by Aynen Oyle) is the slightly more interesting. Mostly as I like gazing at the photos in the little CD booklet. She really is a startingly beautiful woman who can manage a remarkable series of different poses without actually letting you see her pants. And her voice isn’t bad, just factory-produced dull. The same as everything. Rather like the dance music thudding out around her. Which isn’t to say that it’s terrible. It just sounds like a glossy magazine set to music. ‘Stretch’ is the only track that I find myself going back to. It passes the time while I look at the photos.


Image
But at least Ajda Pekkan (or Aynen Oyle) actually exists. Hadise (or Hadise) could well be entirely computer-generated. Hadise (or Hadise) is very Similar to Ajda (or Aynen), but not so unfeasibly blonde and with much longer legs. Much longer. There’s not so many photos of Hadise (or Hadise) and the music is even more generic: all thumpy backing and that irritating catch in her voice which all pop clones seem to have nowadays. And mostly singing in English (or, to be more precise, American) about thoughtful subjects such as her body, good kisses, and men chasing women. The only two tracks that I quite like are both in Turkish: ‘Deli Oglan’ and Askkouk’. I suspect I like them as I can only guess their subject matter. Kissing bunny rabbits, but in a vaguely raunchy style, possibly.

OK. I don’t want to be too critical. After all Ajda (or Aynen) or Hadise (or Hadise) might be reading this (ha!). These CDs aren’t aimed at blokes like me. Both are clearly for a younger audience with little interest in music with any local flavour. The musical equivalent of MacDonalds, I suppose. It’s just a shame that Turkish dullness turns out to be much the same as British or American dullness. Why can't Turkish tedium be any better than ours?

both **

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:57 am
by Philellinas
Caveat emptor, Gordon. If you look up both of these delectable artists or even their CDs on Tulumba they fall under the category Turkish music/Modern, Western influenced/Popular Music. You can always throw away the CDs and just keep the informative booklets. Don't always judge a Turkish CD by its cover, however. Chris Potts put me on to this album which looks a bit racy and westernised:-

Image

I think it would merit more than two stars. Keep shelling out, Gordon, on our behalf: you might turn up a Levantine nugget for the rest of us to enjoy. Phil

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 9:06 am
by Philellinas
Exhibit B...

Image

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:24 am
by Des
That pic of Hadise or Hadise has upset me. Thanks.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:54 am
by Gordon Neill
Des sez:

That pic of Hadise or Hadise has upset me. Thanks.


There's nothing to be ashamed about, Des. All men do it.

Possibly I'm the last person here who realised it but, after some intensive research (browsing through Google AGAIN) I've just realised that Hadise (or Hadise) was Turkey's representative in the 2009 Eurovision contest. She only came 18th. Presumably the judges were blind.

Image
Rare photo of Hadise (or Hadise) with her frock on backwards and trying to pretend that she just has large shoulderblades.

Philellinas suggested:

Don't always judge a Turkish CD by its cover, however. Chris Potts put me on to this album which looks a bit racy and westernised


What other way is there to judge a CD? I've stumbled across many a gem just by taking a liking to the cover (such as the wonderful Reyhan Karaca that started this thread).

And I quite like racy and Westernised. Well, within reason. I like it when cultures clash and produce something odd and different. Reyhan Karaca, for example, sounds quite Western in some ways, but at the same time retains a distinctly Turkish feel. It's the best of both worlds, as far asI'm concerned: accessible but also different.

Thanks for the suggestions. I shall investigate Latife and Gulcicek (or is it Iz?).

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:20 am
by Philellinas
Gordon enquired:-

I shall investigate Latife and Gulcicek (or is it Iz?)


It depends whether you are investigating the artist or the album. Gulcicek is the artist (if you're any good you only have one name,it seems) and the title of the album is "Iz". We look forward to receiving reports about the MUSIC. Please concentrate on the job we don't pay you for...Phil

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:32 pm
by Chris P
Philellinas wrote:Latife and Gulcicek


Yes both those albums are good, although not 'pop' but 'easy on the ear ethnic', which of course is a popular genre in Turkey (as say in Ireland).

The Gulcicek I discovered through the great Kalan album "Gul Turkuleri" (which I believe HellenoPhil has recommended here at SOTW too). She was one of the singers on it, and a google turned up her album 'Iz' (available from Tulumba), with a strong array of musicians.

Latife is recommended in the Rough Guide to WM Turkey section.

However, having just seen my favourite Turkish group 'Kardes Turkuler' for free in a sunny Clissold Park London, last weekend, I've got to say nothing comes close to matching them, and their singers : Fehmiye Celik, Feryal Oney, Vedat Yildirim and Selda Ozturk. I suppose in Gordon's terms they are a bit "hardcore ethnic", but there is so much depth & variety to explore, and they're energising & fun too at times.

Re: Turkish pop

PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 9:21 am
by Porcci
I have been evesdropping a little, since Turkish (and Kurdish) music interests me a little as well.
Tulsehille Charlie, thanks very much for the Rojin recommendation. Brilliant singer and, apparently, an interesting and independent personality.