December 30, 2012

Eastern Breeze Continues

It has always been a great relief to write, particularly about music. Writing about a band rooted from the lands and melodies you were born into is quite another thrill.

So, it's a pleasure to present you people Norrda; a Turkish rooted indietronica band. They appear to be idle at present; yet they remain an outstanding figure on the Turkish alternative music scene. 

Since the 2007 release of their first (and only) album Infitine Face, their music has encapsulated audiences through its marriage of eastern instruments with western electronica tones. Whilst this is not new, Nordda beats feel like an oriental descendence upon western skies, it is not hard to call what they are doing as ‘knowing no limits’.

Each member has another musical project on the go, some in different genres than the Norrda sound. When Deniz Cuylan (the lead musician of another electronical band from Turkey: Portecho) met Hakan Vreskela (the percussionist in Norrda, now performing solo) in Sweden, they decided to produce music together. After joining Selen Hünerli (performing in Nada, another precious musical duo producing in alternative genre) to the group, they were all ready to go. 

Enjoying the multi-culturality both in attitude and sound, their lyrics are in English, simple and profound. Striving for a calmer attitude of the ego before an 'infinite face', pointing at a unity – both as body and soul, speaking of insights and dreams, being an individual trying to make his way out in the crowds... Familiar to what we are generally concerned, isn't it? That seems to be another factor that makes their music international and 'forever young'. With Selen Hünerli's beautifully smooth voice, it all becomes a great joy. 

Let's zip up for the sound now! Their great Infinite Face greets you with its nine very good tracks. I may not be as objective as I want to, but I will go and advice you not to miss out on Norrda as they have been a refreshing musical discovery for the Turkish audience also. We still hope to hear more from them. Fingers crossed!

Here are some more tunes from the album for you to taste:

December 26, 2012

Eastern Breeze

WOAH! Selin, my friend from Turkey, hit the nail on the head! 

Ladies and Gents, let me introduce you to a band called Gevende, best known for their trademark style they call psychedelic-folk, which travels through the sound of Balkans, Eastern Europe and Turkey. 

Since their formation in 2000, the outfit has performed at several prestigious festivals around the world and has been awarded for their works many times.

In September 2006, they hit the road for a musical journey which influenced their music and affected their lives forever. They took a route through Iran, Pakistan, India, to Nepal where they shared their music with local artists and experienced a musical interaction with those lands, which was a lifetime experience for sure. In fact, Gevende's musical taste consists of collected pieces from every place they go, all the music they listen to, every culture they touched and make a fusion which can be loved by the people of all lands. 

Frolic rhythms and somber melodies go hand in hand when they are playing. You don't have to know Turkish to enjoy their lyrics. They are usually made up, meaningless handful of words. Yep, that's it. They use a language which belongs to nowhere. It is an imaginary mixture or phonetic imitation of the world languages so that everyone could find a word or a sound of his/her own. On stage, they make a music which has no boundaries. That's great, innit?

Their upbeat and vibrant sound is always open for improvisation, so their show always tends to be one-of-a-kind. This performance is particularly good, cause it was shot in a 'madrasah' (kind of an academy in the islamic world) with a great acoustic. So, this one has an enigmatic charm. Seriously, absolutely fabulous!

December 21, 2012

Hello Earthlings

Although I know that it's almost impossible for one to express thoroughly the dearest things to heart, surely I would just go and try for this one. Skywatchers and their two year old Handbook have been an irreplaceable musical discovery in my life from the moment I heard their exceptional tunes and beautiful poetry. So now, though I really do not want to turn this into a 'personal story of a discovery', I should admit that it's not easy just to give a brief outline of this infinite journey. 

Let's see. They originally come from England's a far and surely a cloudy town. We do not know how they managed to fall on the confused and crowded streets of a middle-eastern city, with what myths to walk on. Let's not take interest in this part of the story. While Kevin Pearce, calls himself 'a gifted troubadour', had kept on taking the 'sky watchers' feet off the ground with his experimental electronic band, I Monster, he came across an old observatory on the hills of Derbyshire he says and continues: 

<< Skywatchers have an album. It is called The Skywatchers Handbook. It is a story of escape from gravity of the Earth to the weightlessness of space. It begins in a field of lonely Victorian flowers. Electronic and scientific pulses cross-pollinate with the vibrations of bucolic wooden instruments. The old and the new. The wood and the alloy.>>

Extremely convinced to experience this escape, we start our journey with Dead Flowers for Her. Coming down this beautifully sad scenery of a Victorian valley, we are evoked and may be even changed for love. We surely are ready to smell some more from this story.

Then they strike with The Curious Village, whistling very gently: 'Open your minds to darkness!'. Agreed. Village is followed by Rhythm of Ashes, a personal favorite. It is a pile of powerful musical arrangement and a precious story to 'shake' a daydreamer's rare imagery. 

Serves Me Right. We're already in the capsule, we're speeding up. Our heads go so high that we never want to come down to earth. Truly. 

Then The Lunar Tune surrounds us. We are looking for reasons to stay in this very pretty scenery. So delicate, gentle. If the tip of the nose aches with the spell of the dream, it is perfectly fine.

They ask on purpose now: << Do You Want to Go to Space, Young Man? >> Here, young man, in this scary infinity, do you really think you could last? Alone and infinite? The answer is given: << Let's go further. We may not be alone as we think we are. >>

Ever Felt the Sky? How "not alone" are we? If there are enough of us, let's not wait, let's go! Because, you know, we can learn about going away while we are on the road, no? And so we arrive to the Small Lights. A great vision to rest before we start hearing the drums again.

Ever Felt the Sky? by Skywatchers on Grooveshark
Small Lights by Skywatchers on Grooveshark 

Drums usher in for the last words: Keep Watching the Sky. The mark of the story.. We're here, in the nameless place where hopes, dreams and many other possibilities reside. This journey we've been in is far beyond comprehension and we are sure that this is not the ending at all. Thankfully, we know, this peculiar destination has a lot more  to show to a curious mind.

Keep Watching the Sky by Skywatchers on Grooveshark

All in 36 minutes, 50 seconds. Really, how many hours did it take Felix to reach Stratosphere? Since 2010, the story of some lucky people is only 36 minutes and 50 seconds. It is spun with delicate notes and turned into tender poetry with the hands of some gifted imaginations. And now what is left for us is to remember, be grateful and get ready again for the on-coming winter. Remember it with curiosity and hope. Love the sky and the ones that make you watch it from a closer stage.

With deep love from the outer space.