Thursday, March 10, 2011

CD Review: Baba ZuLa's 'Gecekondu'


The Turkish beat group features traditional stringed instruments and percussion to form a kind of Turk-beat music that is not like techno or dance. Essentially, the music contains a modern tone with traditional instruments. Gecekondu is translated as "slums." Vocalists Murat Ertel and Elena Hristova add some Turkish flair to the repertoire without compromising the pace or beat of the music. There are some similarities to Latin American cumbia music, psychedelia, and North African guitar blues. Gecekondu's wide-reaching comparisons are necessary given the fact the music draws upon several influences directly or indirectly. The music beats are similar to India's bhangra on a lighter scale. However, fusion is a small part of Gecekondu. "Temptation" incorporates English lyrics with a Middle Eastern and Indian melody. Track 10 is a more refined and modernized track with a dub-beat and all the crazy, Turkish percussion one can muster. In fact, it almost borders on Balkan madness! Anyway, Baba ZuLa is a talented group that puts Turkey on the map. Dance your way to Ankara today! ~ Matthew Forss

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