Taken from the album 'XX'
Available on: 2xCD / 2xLP+CD+DL
Release Date: January 27th, 2017
A kaleidoscopic, two-disc, career-spanning compilation from Istanbul’s revered psychedelic explorers. Esteemed collaborators include Sly & Robbie, Mad Professor, Dr. Das of Asian Dub Foundation, Alexander Hacke (Einstürzende Neubauten) and more. Without a doubt one of the planet’s great musical adventures.
All too often these days, the world can feel like a dark and dangerous place. But music remains a light in the bleakness, offering a constant sense hope and joy and celebration. In Turkey the ominous shadows have been growing longer for several years but Baba Zula have been a shining beacon for 20 years, bringing the West and the Orient together in a glory of Istanbul psychedelia. To celebrate those two decades of existence, XX brings together tracks from across Baba Zula’s history, along with a second album of dubs created by artists like Mad Professor. Dr. Das of Asian Dub Foundation, and Dirtmusic.
“We wanted to have a compilation that was a little different,” explains group founder and electric saz player Osman Murat Ertel. “None of the pieces here are in their original forms. Instead, we picked remixes, re-recordings, collaborations, live tracks, all the possibilities, but none of these have been released before. And it’s a mix of recording techniques – digital, analogue, tape, mp3.”
Formed by Ertel and Levent Akman in 1996, Baba Zula took Turkish psychedelic pioneers of the 1960s like Moğollar as their inspiration and foundation for what they called Istanbul psychedelia, the fathers of a scene that’s since grown up around them.
Since then Baba Zula have played all over the world, won awards for their work in film and theatre, often been rewarded at the Turkish Billboard awards, and had their albums counted among the most prestigious ever released in Turkey. They’ve also built a global network of like-minded performers, experimental souls in all genres of music, working with people as varied as Turkish opera singer Semiha Berksoy, dub mixer Mad Professor, and Can drummer Jaki Liebezeit. And that, to Ertel, is one of the band’s great successes.
“It’s exciting to collaborate with people you listened to when you were young. It’s a great inspiration and a huge fulfilment in dreaming something and having it come true. And it becomes a link of friendship.”
And now, with 20 years behind them, what’s next for Baba Zula?
“I never thought it would last this long,” Ertel admits. “Maybe another 20 years is possible, maybe not. But living here in Turkey, I don’t know about the future. I hope the band could continue without me. We give our messages very carefully for those who can understand them. But I do know it’s important to carry on; you can be gone anytime.”