Altın Gün - Âlem (Glittrebeat Records, 2021)
It is very likely that those who love Yol will also fall for Âlem, another record that showcases Altın Gün’s ability to reshape Turkish folk music through their own unique filter. Âlem and Yol also share the same faith in using electronic sounds as a base and are both mixed and co-produced by Belgian synth duo, Asa Moto. In part this decision was due to the circumstances necessitated by the pandemic, but also as “an ode to the electronic pop music of the eighties and early nineties.
It is very likely that those who love Yol will also fall for Âlem, another record that showcases Altın Gün’s ability to reshape Turkish folk music through their own unique filter. Âlem and Yol also share the same faith in using electronic sounds as a base and are both mixed and co-produced by Belgian synth duo, Asa Moto. In part this decision was due to the circumstances necessitated by the pandemic, but also as “an ode to the electronic pop music of the eighties and early nineties.” These ten tracks, including three original compositions, are seamless in their making and display the band’s trademark pop smarts alongside a deep understanding of what makes well known tracks like ‘Yali Yali’ tick.
The first single will be one of the band’s own compositions, ‘Kısasa Kısas’, with a video directed by Belgian filmmaker and photographer, Grégoire Verbeke. The single and video will be digitally released on all platforms on July 21st. The album’s artwork is designed by UK-based architectural designer, Alexander Khabbazi.
The word Âlem has many translations: realm, world, booze, kingdom, universe and orgy.
Its protean aspect accurately reflects the spirit of the music on the record. Altın Gün is both a tight-knit band and one that favours both a collective approach to composition, often incorporating other creative points of view. For this project friends from Amsterdam’s vibrant music scene, namely Alex Figueira, Mauskovic Dance Band’s Chris Bruining and Marnix Wilmink, and guitarist Thijs Elzinga, added their musical skills to the mix. Âlem also nods to some of the band’s current musical interests, such as ‘80s synth pop and early ‘90s Euro house and downtempo. The results are spectacular. ‘Çarşambayı Sel Aldı’ and ‘Badi Sabah Olmadan’ are hypnotic, widescreen versions of electronic pop; the weeping guitar chords, squiggles and taps and programmed beats all combine to make captivating versions of two Turkish folk standards.
Then there is ‘Yali Yali’, best known through Neşe Karabocek’s terrific version of a traditional song from the Black Sea area. On Âlem, this hypnotic torch song is given a sparkling new twist, courtesy of a decidedly robotic feel (with maybe a nod to Kraftwerk). The three self-penned numbers are fascinating in their ability to show Altın Gün’s creative versatility. ‘Üzüm Üzüme Baka Baka’ has the feel of a seedy, dubby, ‘80’s number, whereas with ‘Cips Kola Kilit’ continues the ‘80s feel, the beat patterns enhanced with synth washes and a softly spoken, seductive rap. Single ‘Kısasa Kısas’ is a classic summer holiday lament; a balearic reggae pop song that precisely captures two weeks spent “somewhere hot” with a holiday fling to boast of, too.
By purchasing a song from Âlem, the buyer will protect at least one m2 of nature for perpetuity.
For every m² certificate sold, a new m² of nature is taken into protection. These square metres are protected by a global alliance of reputable nature protection organisations. Through this method EarthToday aims to build a global initiative that protects 50% of the planet by 2050.
Altın Gün explains the motivation behind the release of Âlem:
“For us as a band it’s important to contribute to a more sustainable way of living. Travel by van or train, no plastic on or backstage, CO2 compensation in case of flying and a vegetarian rider. However; we felt the urgency to do more. Recording a full length album and donating all revenues to EarthToday to help them reach their goals is for us a way to contribute to a healthier planet.”
NMR (photo: Albert Vrzgula)