|Styles:||Neo-folk, psychedelic, acid folk, world groove|
|Discography:||2017 – XX
2017 – XX Dub
2014 – 34 Oto Sanayi
2010 – Gecekondu
2007 – Kökler
2006 – Dondurmam Gaymak
2005 – Duble Oryantal (with Mad Professor)
2003 – – Ruhani Oyun Havaları (with Mad Professor)
1999 – Üç Oyundan Onyedi Müzik
1996 – Tabutta Rövaşata
|Turkey has long been an exotic land to the Western world. BaBa ZuLa is even more exotic. Passionately Turkish in their devotion to their culture’s traditional music, there is also in BaBa ZuLa’s music a heady dose of late 60s psychedelic and early 70s prog-rock.
I only discovered BaBa ZuLa in 2015. How in the world I missed them for so long is beyond my comprehension. BaBa ZuLa is everything I search for and love about world fusion music: roots in traditional music, embracing of new technologies, willingness to experiment, political awareness, and a passion for creativity. They are not terribly obscure, relatively speaking, so the fault is all mine.
Founded in 1996 by Murat Ertel and Levent Akman, BaBa ZuLa has over the years been joined by Özgür Çakırlar, Periklis Tsoukalas, and Melike Şahin. BaBa ZuLa mixes electrified Turkish instruments such as the saz and ud with a wide variety of percussion. They use little to no synthesizers, but do use machines to dub many tracks. Dub, Sufi, gypsy, and pre-Islamic Turkish music all add to the mix.
The band describes what they do in this way:
What that blurb doesn’t mention is the intensity of their live shows. They are Turkish, so no surprise that they have belly dancers, often three or more. But it is in live shows is where their psychedelia truly flowers. See for yourself how BaBa ZaLua outjams all others as they were in 2010, and after adding singer Melike Şahin in 2015.
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