_T_his summer, the Amsterdam-based Turkish psychedelics band Altin Gün (‘Golden Day’) will visit the US and Canada for a tour of their second album ‘Gece’ (available here) (scroll down for the tour schedule).
“In the universe, there are things that are known, and things that are unknown, and in between, there are doors,” nineteenth-century poet and novelist William Blake once beautifully suggested. To discover new things you sometimes need someone to open a door between the known and the unknown. Altin Gün (‘Golden Day’) is the band holding that door handle. And when the door swings open you smell, feel and hear a mix of sounds you may have heard before separately but never in this brilliant new context that sounds totally new.
On their debut album ‘On’ (Bongo Joe Records), the band shows what happens when you open doors between Turkish folk songs which were passed on from generation to generation on the one hand and a dirty blend of funk rhythms, wah-wah guitars and analogue organs on the other. The Amsterdammers who come from various backgrounds (Turkish but also Indonesian and Dutch) comfortably create their work in the adventurous no-man’s land that exists between these two worlds.
Older generations of Turkish musicians have also experimented with opening doors between previously unconnected sonic worlds. During the seventies, artists such as Baris Manço, Selda Bağcan and Erkin Koray practiced a way of songwriting and composing similar to Altin Gün’s.
Manço, Bağcan and Koray have all influenced Altin Gün, but their foremost inspiration is Neşet Ertaş, a Turkish folk musician whose musical legacy is invaluable. Comparisons are almost impossible to make but imagine someone with the same impact and status as Bob Dylan or George Gerschwin and you’re getting close. Many of the songs he wrote have become standards in Turkey, national treasures which are cherished up until the present day. Altin Gün retains the lyrical and thematic structure of Ertaş’s songs, though they often alter their time signatures and add fuzzy bass sounds, sweltering organ sounds and raw saz riffs. Ertaş wrote the majority of the songs on the album even if these are hardly recognizable after all the work Altin Gün have done on them.
Let Altin Gün open that door for you and get ready to indulge in their fresh and beautiful sound.
Altin Gün are:
Ben Rider (guitar)
Daniel Smienk (drums)
Jasper Verhulst (bass)
Merve Dasdemir (vocals)
Erdinc Yildiz Ecevit (saz, keys, vocals)
Gino Groenveld (percussion)
July 22 at The Sinclair, Cambridge
July 24 at Rough Trade, New York City
July 25 at Kung Fu Necktie, Philadelphia
July 26 at The Anchor, Kingston NY
July 27 at Rock & Roll Hotel, Washington
July 29 at Lincoln Hall, Chicago
July 30 at Turf Club, St. Paul
August 3 & 4 at Pickathon, Oregon
August 5 at The Crocodile, Seattle
August 8 at Teragram Ballroom, Los Angeles
August 9 – 11 at Outside Lands, San Fransisco