Album Review

Alpay – “Yekte” – [Pharaway Sounds]

Thurston Hunger   10/19/2013   CD, International

More excellent eastern excursions from Pharaway Sounds.
This time hitting the Anatolian tollboth and dialing
up the early 70’s in Turkey. The liner notes portray
Alpay (Nazikioglu) as nearly a god fallen to earth,
rising legal eagle by day, scoring soccer star by night.
Who knows but the man knows how to belt out a rock anthem,
and he hooked up with some divine studio folks. Check
the title cut, those little staccato beats, the wah-wah
and then the flourishes of Turkish strings and melodies.
The closing track after that feels like a perfect twin
to go with the other. Alpay even grunts well, and
his voice on this is more of a dominant whisper.
But really it’s that perfect marriage of Turkish folk
and hippy psych that once again finds the flame. Was
his guitarist really a USAF kid stationed overseas.
I refer you to the liners’ leg work. Back to the music
cool mouth popping, hammer-ons to start, followed by
slow gypsy spin, Yardbird leanings, dry percussion, bass
lines that would have Entwistle tapping his toes in his
grave. The songs play tag so well between saz and guitar,
between east and west, it makes me wonder why the Islamic
Brotherhood detests such dalliances. The middle section
of the album is more pop flavored, but none the less
enjoyable. Tracks 5 and 8 may not be your Turkish delights
but my sweet tooth had no problem with ’em.

-Thurston Hunger

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