Getting Trippy in Türkiye: A Look at Türkiye’s Underground Psych Scene – Part 1


The Eastern Mediterranean continues to impress me with the amount of quality psychedelic rock and heavy psych that it churns out, and within that region Türkiye continues to be one of the strongest players. In the first half of this article I look at four psych releases from the Turkish underground, each with a unique and varied sound, making for an afternoon of quality listening that will never feel dulls.

Written by James Sweetlove

Fuzziliers – Sail the Seven Seas

With their debut album the Fuzziliers give us a mixed bag of retro influenced 60s rock, Britpop and both psychedelic and prog rock, a mix that sounds familiar and comforting and yet fresh and innovative. There are elements that remind me of bands like Oasis, at other times I get the Beatles, but both of them are fed through a psychedelic filter that gives them an a spacey, almost spiritual quality at times. The main draw point of the album lies in both the band’s incredibly catchy song writing and their ability to have tracks progress from one sound/style into another with incredible ease. Production wise the band nailed the sound of the album, it has a real 60s tone and essence to it, making it that much more immersive. If this is the band’s debut I can’t wait to see what they give us next, so take note of that band name. Also a special shoutout to the band’s bass player, who is simply on fire on this release.

Can Tan – Imaginary Beings, Strange Creatures

Can Tan is a strange beast in that their overall sound and genre is very hard to pin down, their music ranges from psychedelic/surf rock to jazz, salsa, rumba, electronic and more. The end result of this beautiful union is an album where no two tracks sound the same, as each dives deeper into one area of the mix than its counterparts. Musically the album explores the sounds and styles of Cordoba the artist grew up but works those rhythmic elements into the core of the album’s melodies and energy. Having said that we still have some amazing Turkish and other Middle Eastern elements in the mix throughout the album. What really hooks me about this release is the way that the music takes you on a journey, and its best if you just let go and follow its flow, because it will traverse a wide range of sonic soundscapes, each as tantalizing and captivating as the last. If you enjoy music that presents you with no pre-conceived notions of what will come next, then this is the album for you.

 Lousyd – Oneironaut

Ever wondered what a concept album about lucid dreaming performed through the medium of psychedelic/stoner/post-rock would sound like? Well wonder no more, because Istanbul solo project Lousyd (Seha Karaöz) delivers exactly that. I say this in the most complimentary way possible, but this album is quite strange and a little unhinged, in the same way that an album by System of Down or Primus is, and I’m all for it. We get two vocal styles on the album, one is a more standard stoner/psych rock style and the other are strange vocals presented with a played up accent, a style that I love). Mixed in with this are spoken word segments with heavy effects applied and a trippy immersive quality. Instrumentally things range from spacier psychedelic post-rock type energy to bluesy, fuzzy stoner rock segments with some real heaviness and power to them. The tracks on the album run mostly between 5 and 13 minutes, giving each track time to grow, develop and unfold. Personally I love what Seha Karaöz has done here, and when you remember that its a solo album, its all that much more impressive.

Congulus – G​ö​ç​ebe

Congulus take us on a journey into the world of instrumental psychedelic rock with G​ö​ç​ebe, an album that listens like an incredible jam session between some extremely talented musicians. The band play what is known as Anatolian Rock, a uniquely Turkish style of rock that fuses folk rock and psychedelic rock elements. These influences mean that the album is a perfect blend between complex and spacy mind altering psychedelic rock elements and stunning Turkish folk elements, that affect everything from guitar tone and rhythms and melodies to the inclusion of folk instrumental elements at key points. The musicianship and song writing that the band display here shows that they really understand music and how to make it feel both stimulating and effortless, as if all music is supposed to sound like this. I have to give serious praise to both the guitar and synthesizer work on this release, they’re both incredibly moving and technically impressive, a duality that isn’t easy to achieve. With music like this I’m always glad that its instrumental, because vocals couldn’t possibly elevate this any further and would really just distract from the incredible instrumental work on display.

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