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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sample Some Turkish Rock Candy

"Cultural Mosaics" by Timi, writing from Budapest, Hungary

In this post I am going to present some contemporary scenes of Turkish rock music, like short highlights of interesting facts and great music. Take notes, listen and add them to your shopping list - they are true diamonds.

When the opera singer takes on rock

People in my environment think I know everything there is to know about contemporary Turkish music, but this band has been unknown to me until very recently. Redd was founded in 1996 and their first album came out in 2005. Doğan Duru, the lead singer of the band has a surprising enough career of his own; he is an educated tenor opera singer, who studied at various Italian conservatoires and performed the role of Judas from "Jesus Christ Superstar" in "Rock on Broadway", a Turkish rock musical compilation staged in Istanbul.

Redd: Prensesin Uykusuyum, NTV live performance, 2006.

Videos that were never aired

Şebnem Ferah's music video filmed for her song "Hoscakal" (Goodbye) - God knows why - never made it to the television channels. It can only be found on pirate websites (YouTube has had it until very recently, when it was removed due to a complaint by publisher Pasaj Müzik). Too bad that the video was - for unknown reasons - discarded, as this is one of Ferah's best songs ever. Later the director used the very same concept for another singer's video.

Another video that never made it to the channels, though promised, is rock band Gripin's duet with Pamela Spence, called "Zor Geliyor" (Doesn't Come Easy). The clip should have aired on TV soon after half of the band joined the army for their compulsory service in December 2008.

The voice that causes goosebumps all over

Cem Adrian is in a very special situation and more alternative/contemporary than strictly speaking confined to the rock genre. His vocal cords have double the range of an average person, which means he can sing very high and very low notes as well, sometimes producing surprising sounds. He can produce the vocal scale of a whole choir solo, examples of which can be heard on his albums (when you think it's women singing backing vocals, it's in fact Adrian himself. All voices are produced by him and recorded separately). His style is also very unusual and experimental, to say the least. So are his lyrics and videos.

Cem Adrian: Bir Melek Ölürken (As An Angel Dies).

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