Gaye Su Akyol – İstikrarlı Hayal Hakikattir
- Stewart Smith
- 19 September 2018
Turkish psychedelia with an radical internationalist message
'Dreams keep you awake and it is time to wake up!' writes Istanbul's Gaye Su Akyol in the notes to her third album, İstikrarlı Hayal Hakikattir. Translating as 'Consistent Fantasy Is Reality' the album title reflects Akyol's dream of pure freedom, a 'dreaming practice' that challenges the increasingly oppressive reality of Erdoğan's Turkey, and the conservative turn of the wider world.
Akyol's music will appeal to fans of the 1970s Anatolian psychedelia that's gained a cult Western following – the great Selda Bağcan, Erkin Koray, Bariş Manço et al – but it's no retro affair. While her previous album Hologram Ĭmparatorluğu arrived in a swirl of cinematic strings and twanging surf guitars, İstikrarlı Hayal Hakikattir opens with a more contemporary punch, as an analogue synth squelches out a huge modal riff, followed by a syncopated strut and spidery guitars. Akyol enters, her voice graceful and poised as she picks apart consensus reality.
The gorgeous ballad 'Bagrimizda Tas' ('Stones In Our Bosom') follows, its dreamy melody graced by acoustic guitars, bağlama and hand percussion. An eerie organ underlines the song's bleak reflections on alienation and the quashing of human potential. 'Gölgenle Bir Başima' ('All Alone With Your Shadow') is darker still, a slow gothic creep set to electronic beats, sinister guitar and an apparition of strings. Akyol makes good use of a horn section on 'Meftunum Sana' ('Captivated By You'), their sustained chords setting up a tortured meditation on 'the blind darkness of love'. A freewheeling saxophone solo drives home the sense of abandonment. There's a nod to Turkish rock tradition with a cover of Bariş Manço's 'Hemşerim Memlkeket Nire' ('Where Are You From, Mate?'), but its lyrics – 'our earth is already broken and uninhabitable/no need to divide it more and more' - fit perfectly with the album's radical internationalist message.
Out Fri 26 Oct on Glitterbeat.