Dağtaş cover art for the album Ҫok Bilinmeyenli Topraklar

Dağtaş Says Choose Your Own Adventure

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If all you have to gage music is its ability to move you, start stretching. Dağtaş might not inspire fits of moshing or choreographed moves like Michael Jackson’s Thriller, but the emotion he sends through his music entrances muscle and bone. Call it dancing or call it magic, but Dağtaş ignites the imagination.

Artist: Dağtaş

Release Title: Ҫok Bilinmeyenli Topraklar

Label: Kazandibi Records

Release Date: April 12, 2024

Location: Turkey

Genre: Folk

Written by: Stevie Aldrich

You don’t need to understand the Turkish language to understand Dağtaş. He’s dabbled in multiple music forms, but his latest album, Ҫok Bilinmeyenli Topraklar, distances him from the English indie rock, art-pop, and jazz styles he’s produced in the past. Regardless of which genre brought you here, his standalone work is worth staying for.

He joined a UK classmate to bring the band Yolcu to life during the pandemic, which splits from his one-man-band material enough to give English speakers the pleasure of singing along. Enjoy his influence over there if you want a poppier version of his sound. Otherwise, what Dağtaş offers with Ҫok Bilinmeyenli Topraklar is a beautiful and elaborate story. The drums and haunting vocals paint an adventure or a love story, depending on how you listen to it.

Without exact lyrics to relay the plot, all we have to identify the setting is the album’s cover art. Sun-scorched rocks form an impassable mountain ledge, and one rock is delicately carved into a human face. The album’s title translates into “very unknown lands,” giving the image an extra layer. It’s all any creative needs to build visuals and explore.

In 1999, the cult masterpiece “The Mummy” was released. While some people watched for sexy characters, others watched for the adventure. If you’re like me and fall into the latter category, Dağtaş will transport you to epic scenes of sand dunes and gold-laden pyramids or sword-swinging battles with nefarious thieves and soldier mummies. I don’t have to close my eyes to see the luxurious fabrics underfoot and the sparkling gemstones embedded in the tomb’s walls. Yes, Egypt and Turkey are different places, but this is the specific adventure Dağtaş takes me on. I can’t say where his melodies will send you.

Dağtaş does exactly what I ask of my musicians: give me bewitching sounds. I don’t need clever lyrics or genius riffs, and I don’t understand the subtleties of notes and rhythms, so it wouldn’t impress me anyway. What I do understand is my body’s instinct to jump, rock, or sway. Music with personality doesn’t require explanation, it simply makes me move. The best of the best also creates a visual journey, which is where you’ll find Dağtaş.

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