Selda Selda

The vault has barely been opened for Turkish psychedelic reissues but it’s full of gold. This record is a classic by anyone’s standards — the tuneful, heavy pop, unique vocals and crazily diverse production add up to an ambitious but masterfully executed record. Selda Bagcan started out singing strident protest music to folk rhythms bumped with modern touches. By 1976, when this, her debut album, was recorded, she had become even more progressive with her music and forceful with her singing. Selda’s powerful vocals could shatter glass at 50 paces and the muezzin-like bent to her delivery gives her a spiritual, forceful tone. Her lyrics are as serious as cancer: "Youth cannot be shot/One day the tyrant will be scrutinised/for all that is unjust”; she would later be jailed for such sentiments. The music is equally revolutionary, changing wildly from track to track, from the hard as Sabbath "Ince Ince” to funky jams like "Yaz Gazeteci Yaz.” This album was recorded during the brief phase of electronic pop in Turkey and features two scoops of Moog on damn nearly every track. The brass-heavy ballad "Nasirli Eller” is rinsed with swooping electronic wind effects and synthesised harpsichord obbligatos. As if the sheer range of the original album wasn’t enough, the five bonus tracks from the same sessions introduce some of her earlier folk fusion sounds (with the celebrated Mogollar, probably the best known of the Turkish psychsters back in the day) and ends with the clavinet dominated disco metal of "Nem Kaldi.” Sit back, crank it up and listen in awe. (Finders Keepers)