Getting Trippy in Türkiye: A Look at Türkiye’s Underground Psych Scene – Part 2


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 second half of this article I look at 4 more psych releases from the Turkish underground, each with a unique and varied sound, makin for an afternoon of quality listening that will never feel dull or repetitive.

Written by James Sweetlove

Cry Ankle – Cry Ankle

I want to say that Cry Ankle is a perfect example of why you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. When seeing the album’s artwork you immediately think “okay this will be some indie release,” well luckily for everyone here that isn’t the case. This is quality psychedelic rock with a very relaxed and almost effortless feel to it. The vocals on the album are minimalistic in nature, in that they sit somewhat low in the mix and have a very steady, laidback energy and slight echoed and layered effects that gives them a spacy, almost otherworldly quality. The instrumentals compliment this quality perfectly being very bass guitar heavy and the guitar running parallel to accentuate the melodic lead of the bass. However there are moments on tracks where the guitar will bust out into powerful acid rock style shredding and solos. Certain songs are more energetic than others, while some are very heavily atmosphere focused, making for an interesting listening experience throughout. Overall I like what is being done here, I find it both engaging and refreshing while having a strange relaxing quality to it.

Gaye Su Akyol – Love Buzz

While Love Buzz may only have two tracks and comin in at just over 8-minutes, I promise you that every second of its runtime should not be missed. This is Turkish folk influenced psychedelic rock known as Anatolian rock with elements of electronica and alternative rock, all tied together by powerful female vocals and an old school feel. While I’m reminded in some ways of female artists like PJ Harvey in the underlying attitude and vocal delivery of Gaye Su Akyol, the two can’t really be compared instrumentally. This is stunningly rich music, loaded to the brim with captivating Middle Eastern instrumentation, rhythms and melodies, but tied in with modern elements of the rock spectrum. The first track is a moving cover of Love Buzz by Dutch psych band Shocking Blue, giving the song a whole new energy and sound. The second track is a little more slow paced and spacey, allowing plenty of room for elements such as synthesizer to shine. So take 8 minutes out of your day and enjoy some of the most interesting music you would have heard in some time.

Esans – Kurak Akl​ı​m​ı​n Son Topra​ğ​ı 

Esans takes a different approach to psychedelic rock, mixing it in with elements of indie, alternative and ambient. The result is a synth laden, atmosphere heavy release that has a depressive beauty to it. The release is a concept album, that takes the listener on a deeply emotional and spiritual journey navigating the struggles on immigration and the effects that it has on the well-being of an individual (a topic that I know a GREAT deal about, having immigrated several times). The artist uses psychedelic influences subtly, weaving it into the fabric and essence of the music itself rather than simply creating psychedelic rock. I have to also say that Fatih Öztürk has a truly moving voice, that carries some real emotional weight and at times is delivered beautifully and powerfully. The musical layering on the album is captivating but also kept simple enough to allow each element to shine in the mix. Overall I found this to be an enjoyable listen and I look forward to hearing the rest of the Esanslı albums in the series.

Kuby Clay – Thaw

Taking us to the other side of the psych spectrum is Kuby Clay, who present us with a mind altering psytrance offering as upbeat as it is rich in layers and textures. While the album will appeal to many of you who are into dance music, this isn’t your run of the mill stuff, this features exotic instrumentation, sung segments, rhythmic breathing and far more. Tying this together is an underlying infectious beat that weaves its way through each track on the album. While cohesive and smoothly flowing, each track on the album is different enough to that last that it maintains your interest and keeps your head bopping throughout. The album also features plenty of both Latin and jungle influences, which as any fans of those genres know means huge levels of groove and rhythm. As someone who loves good quality electronic music, but is very picky with what he listens to, its not every day that I find something as refreshing and interesting as this.

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