Sunday, December 02, 2007

Turkish Bongo Madness!

I purchased a copy of Mustafa Özkent ve Orkestrasi's Gençlik Ile Elele [Finders Keepers/B-Music BMS003]. Hoo ha! This one's a blast: high energy instrumental funk with a Bosphorus gloss. Yes, there is some similarity in sound to The Incredible Bongo Band as several reviewers have pointed out, but the flavour is more exotic than would be expected.

From the liner notes: " Regarded amongst hardened collectors of Anatolian rock as THE DADDY of all Turkish rarities, this record simply has to be heard to be believed and even then it's still literally UNBELIEVABLE. Is this record for real? Either these guys had time-machines or DJ Kool Herc had secret Eastern connections. If a box of original copies of this seldom-sighted album had made its way to the South Bronx in the late seventies then Mustafa Ozkent would be sharing throne space with other ultimate breaks and beats such as Michael Viner's 'Incredible Bongo Band', Funky Drummer, and Johnny The Fox bringing modern record collectors' new-found Turkish obsession forward by some 20 years. "

If you're at all interested in following the road less traveled, and after all why wouldn't you, buy a copy. It'll fill you with the all-important 'pep' and you know you need that.

While I'm here I'd like to point you towards a rare interview with Kalahari Surfers mastermind Warrick Sony located here. I haven't kept up with his music for quite some time (my loss) but reading the interview prompted me to pull copies of Own Affairs, Living in the Heart of the Beast, and Sleep Armed from the Mondo Bongos library. I can say that they hold up very well, due in my opinion to their basic eclecticism: Art Rock, Reggae, Afro-Funk, and Audio Verité. Music that wide-ranging just doesn't date.

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