Altin Gün was inspired by founder and bass player Jasper Verhulst’s deep passion for Turkish folk and psychedelia. “The songs come out of a long tradition. This is music that tries to be a voice for a lot of other people,” he explains. Following their 2018 debut album On, Altin Gün returned with their sophomore album Gece on April 26 via ATO. The new record firmly establishes the band as masterful interpreters of the Anatolian rock and folk legacy, and as a leading voice in the emergent global psych scene.
While most of the material they present has been a familiar part of Turkish life for many years – some of it associated with the late national icon Neşet Ertaş – it’s never been interpreted like this before. This music is electric Turkish history, shot through with a heady buzz of 21st century intensity, filled with funk-like grooves and explosive psychedelic textures.
“We do have a weak spot for the music of the late ‘60s and ‘70s,” Verhulst admits. “With all the instruments and effects that arrived then, it was an exciting time. Everything was new, and it still feels fresh. We’re not trying to copy it, but these are the sounds we like and we’re trying to make them our own.”
And what they create really is their own. Altin Gün radically reimagine an entire tradition. The electric saz (a three-string Turkish lute) and voice of Erdinç Ecevit is urgent and immediately distinctive, while keyboards, guitar, bass, drums, and percussion power the surging rhythms and Merve Daşdemir sings with the mesmerizing power of a young Grace Slick.
Catch Altin Gun at Desert Daze, if that’s in the cards for you, and if not, swing by next Friday evening and catch them here in the shop. This is a special “walk-up” event, meaning no RSVP needed (the phones are in the process of going k-pop on us right now.) We’ll have plenty of CDs and LPs when you get here.
Check out the amazing KEXP session.