Gaye Su Akyol
Istikrarli Hayal Hakikattir
LP / CD / DL
Turkish singer, songwriter and producer releases her third album. Louder Than War’s Paul Scott-Bates reviews.
Two years in the making since her last album Hologram Imparatorlugu, Gaye Su Akyol finally follows up with and album well worth the wait. Istikrarli Hayal Hakikattir (Consistent Fantasy Is Reality) aims to present itself as an album supporting feminism and revolution in an industry still seemingly dominated and controlled by masculinity.
With influences ranging from Anatolian pop/rock to surf to Kurt Cobain, the title track heads off this ten piece collection with effects that maybe wouldn’t go amiss in a 70s sci-fi tv show soon to be joined by a more traditional sounding Turkish riff. Gaye’s voice is entrancing, working like an additional instrument it peaks and falls against some wonderful guitar work and addictive play. It ventures into the dark with the occasional nod perhaps to The Doors and is jam-packed with twists and turns along a much varied route. Male voices appear in choral form in a slightly ironic way and the album begins its journey.
And, what a journey it is. A conventional grounding of guitar, drums and bass is accompanied by violin, oud and baglama making for an interesting sound combination which continues through the album. Written about the people, pain and dreams of the countries she has visited, Akyol presents a very varied work. Laziko takes us to a surf sound and Golgenle Bir Basima is a slow, emotionally charged piece almost sounding like a faster track has been slowed down. It’s wonderful.
For a brief moment, the brass intro to Meftunum Sana could be from 2001 A Space Odyssey as once again, the breathy, enigmatic vocals take centre stage. The brass section takes the track on a new route adding life and feeling as vocals echo and percussion makes a perfect entrance and, an electro interlude precedes a wild and eclectic finale.
What Gaye Su Akyol has achieved with this album has to be applauded, a recent appearance at the WOMAD festival in July of this year will have added to her credentials and no doubt increased her ever growing fanbase. The inclusion of Hemserim Memleket Nire, a cover version of a song made famous by psychedelic composer Baris Manco blends in well and is a good choice to run a parallel with the other tracks.
Halimiz Itten Beter closes an album of impressive quality and further enhances the talent available from Akyol. Well worth checking out.
All words via Paul Scott-Bates. More of Paul’s writing on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive. Paul’s website is hiapop Blog and you can follow him on Twitter here, and on Facebook here.