Words: Ayfer Simms

Monolith Cocktail - Gaye Su Akyol

Gaye Su Akyol   ‘Hologram Imparatorluğu’
Released by Glitterbeat Records

Gaye Su Akyol squeezes her fame out of the Turkish borders as the country reaches levels of gloom and digs its own deep and fowl grave, spitting common sense and freedom out the window. A tiny percentage of people dreams of leaving utterly disgusted with the state of affairs. Another tiny percentage just sits back in consternation, disillusionment, too tired and baffled to do anything. A while back the word is out, there is that music steering some placid interest in town. For that tiny majority of people it is coolness catching up with the heaviness of it all, a dash of hope in an ocean of sectarianism, violence and bigotry.

The girl is certainly confident, and stresses that their music is “unique”. Perhaps in the sense that the western influences are subtly sneaked in, on what is an otherwise perfectly Turkish sounding album, however much alternative. Gaye is not the first band to marry different influences, but her rendition is certainly very well done. It is done so that a wide range of Turkish listeners may take a fancy to it. Traditional enough to attract the ear, the clever twists like the musical arrangements, the lyrics are there for those who cannot thrive with the pre existing molds too set in stone.

In Turkey, the very first notes of a tune betrays the social group’s affinities of the listener: Close your eyes, listen to your minibus driver, your street guy, the old man in his shoe shop, the young indie university student, the taxi driver, the Raki drinker; their music reveals everything: nostalgia of their unarticulated love, their best years at something, their severed youth and poor aching hearts, poverty and injustice, bouncy romantic love, metallic anger of their adolescence or bemused happiness. Gaye’s music encompasses all those feelings and brings them back to a level of enlightenment, bears a deep understanding of those and take on a battle of its own, that the Turkish freedom seeker will approve of: Gaye endeavors to fight against some of the taboos deeply anchored in the Turkish mentalities: absolute sexual liberation for women and to put an end to the never ending battle against minorities.

Gaye’s album will now face a whole different kind of listener, and her music will no doubt tell different stories to the international scene, for the subtleties of her art may only reach people who know Turkey from within.

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