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How Altın Gün Have Revolutionised Turkish Music- ‘Aşk’ Album Review

Cover Image courtesy of Big Hassle Media

I’m no expert on the great historicism of Turkish musicians and its impact, but even I can see that the group Altın Gün are setting in stone songs that will come to define an era.

The Wikipedia page for the band describes their genre as ‘Anatolian rock’. Once you click on the definition that breaks it down further to ‘or Turkish psychedelic rock’ this places who they are much more fittingly. 

The band performs in Turkish, but it was founded in the Netherlands by Jasper Verhuslt, who was inspired by 60’s and 70’s Turkish folk music upon a visit to Istanbul (according to KEXP) and wanted to create his own band that followed suit. This led Jasper to reach out to Turkish vocalists and other musicians forming what would become Altın Gün.

Image Credit: Catharina Gerritsen

The mix of Dutch and Turkish influences explains the psychedelic sound Altın Gün produces, the music is so spacey that it is a drug within a drug, and cloud nine is a level below the state of perfection that Altın Gün takes us to. The band’s music helps us let go of our worldly expectations and feel loose yet grounded within the sense, feeling, and experience of what we’re going through. That particular Juxtaposition is beyond explainable and unlike anything I’ve heard.

The title of their album released last year in March of 2023 ‘Aşk’ translates to ‘Golden Day’; through each song, the band radiates warmth and ease onto the listener. A unique feature I find in their music is it draws you both in and out, it’s a sort of vacuum.

The standout track on the album for me goes to ‘Canım Oy’ (‘Oh My Dear’), the way the electric guitar and the use of drums fade into one as if they are the same instrument in the opening phase is a work of true genius, and this occurs several times over at various points.

Doktor Civanım (‘My Valiant Doctor’) not only displays a catchy chorus and elusive beat but also plays on an intelligent metaphor of how her lover operates on Merve Daşdemir’s (lead vocalist on this track) heart.

Other highlight songs for me included; ‘Badi Sabah Olmadan’ (‘Before The Calm Wind Of The Morning Blows’) which calls the depths of the listener with powerful vocals, Çıt Çıt Çedene’ (‘Crack Crack The Cannabis) which is the band’s take on Barış Manço’s version and ‘Rakıya Su Katamam’ (‘I Can’t Add Water To Raki’). It’s not only the lyrics or topics, but the record itself feels drink and drug-infused, you don’t need anything, all you need is one hit of this album and you’re good.

This album has been on constant repeat for me this past year, and if I do visit Istanbul or elsewhere in Türkiye soon, I will certainly be walking around to their soundtracks. I can’t wait to see what follows for Altın Gün next.

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