ARTIST: EDIP AKBAYRAM
ALBUM: EDIP AKBAYRAM
LABEL (YEAR): SAYAN RECORDS (1972)
FOR FANS OF: (early) PINK FLOYD, ERKIN KORAY, TINARIWEN
Words by Lexy Morvaridi
Edip Akbayram’s self-titled debut album is the perfect introduction to Anatolian Rock. Released in 1974, it’s an eclectic collection of singles released between 1971 and 1973 that showcases a melting pot of Turkish culture at a time of great experimentation. After the emergence of 1960s bands such as the The Rolling Stones et al, Turkish musicians were inspired to fuse traditional rural folk music with rock, creating a psychedelic mix of cathartic vocals and rhythmic jams.
Akbayram’s vocals echo across each track as he picks his way through century old rural Sufi poetry, surrounding the melodies in fuzzy, driven basslines and incendiary electric bağlama. The first track on the record ‘Ince Ince Bar Kar Yağar’ opens with a funky wah-wah guitar before throwing you into a trippy groove with the Turkish zurna taking the lead. It’s this mix of traditional with contemporary that creates a tapestry of psychedelic rock songs fit for a good trip.
Each song is led by rolling bass that drives songs such as ‘Dağlar Dağladı Beni’, which, combined with the textual lead guitar, and Edip’s reverb-heavy, poetic Turkish vocals, creates a distinct sound. The arrangement of each track is rhythmically charged, littered with stops and changes to throw you off your guard with chunky riffs and fills.
I discovered this album in a record shop in Istanbul and I am glad I trusted in the excitement of a blind buy; the sticker on the front persuaded me to trust my instinct. I think that what it said sums up this record better than I ever can: ‘Enjoy the first fuzzy album by way-out Turkish psych singer Edip. A combination of powerful riffage and haunting Anatolian traditions’. Don’t let this gem slip you by.