Kara Toprak, Trance alpin and Maloya Blues
In the best case, music from other cultures tells us what topics musicians are burning to hear. This can be done explicitly in the lyrics of a singer from the island of La Réunion, but also more abstractly on a new album from Switzerland. I look on new releases, but at first on turkish psychedelic music from Amsterdam.
I. Altın Gün
On their debut "On", Altın Gün brought together Turkish folk songs with analog organs. The follow-up album "Gece" was nominated for a Grammy, as the first Turkish-language album ever. Bandleader Jasper Verhulst has a huge record collection. There are legendary names of Analodou Rock, singers like Selda Bağcan or the blind Anatolian bard Aşik Veysel. So not only do you hear a home-recording proven new drum machine, Altın Gün frontwoman Merve Daşdemir has also discovered a new instrument and plays it in the song "Kara Toprak" - a declaration of love by Aşik Veysel to the black earth of his Anatolian homeland. The Omnichord dates back to the eighties, its sound sometimes resembles a zither or a harp, and guitar chords can also be played on it. Altın Gün deliberately looked beyond the Turkish heartland and found the elegiac "Arda Boylari", "Sevda Olmasaydı" is a song by Neşet Ertaş, a folk musician who is loved and revered in Turkey and the Turkish diaspora alike. Altın Gün second singer and saz player Erdinç Ecevit has imbibed Neşet Ertaş's songs since childhood and digs out the most beautiful ones for his band. Altın Gün keep the lyrical magic of the old songs, but like to change time signatures, love on and off swelling organ sounds and rough riffs on saz and vintage guitars, even Brazilian influences flash out of some songs. On their partly during home recording sessions evolved album, laments turn into shimmering synthezizerpop. For some this will surely go too far, but you can also dance away sadness.
Artist Altın Gün
II. Meril Wubslin
The Swiss trio Meril Wubslin leads us through dense, labyrinthine woven sonic materials. The third disc of the band around composer Christian Garcia Gaucher, Valérie Niederoest and Jérémie Conne is full of hypnotic melodies, vintage guitars and rather delicate percussive grooves. Even the first single "Flâner" sounds as if The Velvet Underground had taken off unplugged into the middle of the snowy Alps. The music strolls associatively around rather abstract lyrics that deliberately avoid clear messages and develop an enigmatic pull through their repetitive melodies and wordplays. "We believe that it is more useful for us to open the mind..." wrote me singer and head of the band, Christian Garcia Gaucher. Restrained vocal harmonies meet minimalist synth lines. "Alors quoi", the album title, means as much as so what, outlines the band's concept in laconic brevity. I hear more: open your ears, observe, ramble less, enjoy. You can dive deep into complex, haunting, emotional music here. This hard-to-place songs captivate with an almost painful gentleness. "Alors quoi" is an inspiring winter album.
Album Alors quoi
Artist Meril Wubslin
Label Les Disques Bongo Joe
Foto (C) Jérémie-Conne
III. Christine Salem
Deep voiced singer and songwriter Christine Salem is firmly connected to the rhythms of the Maloya music of La Réunion. Especially soft percussion grooves of her island she has integrated again in her new songs, but also a floating trancy violin. Christine Salem continues her Maloya blues path. She sings in Creole, French and English about the hope for another world and that everyone can do something for it. "Tyinbo", which seems so gentle, is about violence against women, which must finally stop. A few weeks ago Christine Salem released a playlist of strong female voices, among them Nina Simone, Roberta Flack and Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Folk, Blues, Gospel or Jazz are strong cornerstones of her music, but just as well the polyphonic shimmering music of La Réunion, without which she would have been lost as a young woman, as she confessed. "Mersi" became a varied and profound album, tells difficult topics with astonishing musical ease, and this is exactly the strength of her songs. Christine Salem asks us to look kindly at ourselves and at other people. Uncompromising, sensitive, powerful and recorded with an unmistakable smile, "Mersi" is the strongest album of her career so far.
Artist Christine Salem
Label Blue Fanal
Foto (C) Frank-Loriou
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