January 5, 2015

Selda Bagcan - Selda, 1976

Selda Bağcan got real big in the 70s as one of Turkey's most well-known politically-minded musicians, and from what I understand, became somewhat of a household name. Her sound was a progressive wash of psychedelic guitar funk and angular synth heat, applied liberally to Turkish folk songs as scorching backdrops for her emotive, razor-sharp vocals and political critiques. Unsurprisingly, she was thrown in jail three times and was stripped of her passport, but was eventually freed and went on to tour extensively. She resurfaced again in 2006, when Finders Keepers reissued her self-titled LP with some previously unreleased tracks. That's when I first heard this record--my sister gave it to me, and it just about blew my 16-year-old brain open, since I didn't have much of a grasp on the roots of psychedelic music, or what Turkey was. This record is a classic for many, so I hope this serves as a friendly reminder that it's still bubbling hot (with the exception of string-infused weeper ballad "Dam Üstüne Çulserer," flecked with fountain sounds and spiny percussives, which is more of a slow-burner). Note: I'm posting the original album, without the rerelease tracks and with the songs in a different order. It sounds better than ever, almost 40 years later. Enjoy!

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