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Played This Week

August 7, 2009

Bunalim – Bunalim: One of a number of Turkish records that I’ve had in regular rotation this summer. There was a real flowering of Turkish music in the seventies, a meeting of late-sixties Western rock sounds and Eastern folk which resulted in some seriously eclectic, fresh records that still sound amazing today. Bunalim were a short-lived group who recorded some singles in the early seventies before moving on to play with other, more popular Turkish rock bands, and were the freakiest, garage-iest group of their day. This record (a compilation of the band’s recordings) really smokes, with its head-nodding Deep Purple/Iron Butterfly/Sabbath-type riffing of Turkish melodies. The cover says it all, with that bass player way out front. It’s raw, funky stuff, and could serve as a good gateway, should you want to venture further into the Anadolu Pop scene. (Seriously, it only gets better from here).

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PolvoCelebrate the New Dark Age: The mid-nineties were the EP years for Polvo, with two – this one in ’94 and This Eclipse in ’95 – coming out between two of their better-known LPs. They were in truly excellent form here, pushing guitar melodies to limits few other groups ever have. Awesome stuff. And with the band’s reunion and an anticipated new record on the way, the folks at Merge have issued a swell new 12″ pressing of this one with groovy new artwork. Whichever format you prefer, it’s not to be missed.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 7, 2009 3:57 pm

    Man, I’m so torn on Polvo. I’ve got that one and gave it a solid chance when I was on a “things from the 90s I missed” kick, but they’re one of the bands I couldn’t get into. I keep thinking I must have not heard the right stuff from them as most people I know who like the band will concede they also put out some duds over the years.

  2. passerine songs permalink*
    August 7, 2009 8:08 pm

    I’m going to disagree with the dud album thing here and say that everything they did was good, *but* it takes some dedication to follow them to all the places they went. They were a challenging band and there aren’t even many fans, it seems, who like all their stuff completely. I see that as indicative of the band’s reaching and pushing their own boundaries (often challenging those of their fans), rather than bad albums.

    Or maybe they’re just a guitar player’s band? Like, the real brilliance behind so much of what they did is in the overtones and odd harmonies that come about from the weird figures and tunings, but most people probably don’t care about that. Anyway, to me, Celebrate the New Dark Age is among the best stuff they did. Have you heard the first record, Cor-Crane Secret? You’d probably like that one.

  3. August 7, 2009 11:06 pm

    No, all I’ve got are this one and Exploded Drawing. AllMusic.com probably said they were the best or something. I’ll get a hold of Cor-Crane Secret and hopefully have better luck with it.

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