The Cork Board, World Music

We need to talk about Gaye.

Now here’s an album that serves up an adventure. At times dark and complex and at others trippy and spaced. A feast of dark chocolate coated turkish delight. A box of surprises.

The first track begins at a frenetic pace, rattling in challenging your attention, and then comes in the vocal. A voice of purity and maturity, crystal clear like a glacier mint, enticing and intriguing.Then you discover that Gaye Su Akyol is much younger than you thought.


Emerging from the music haunts of Istanbul and inspired by the traditions of Anatolia, Akyol draws upon her heritage and then mixes the pot with her attraction for psychedelic Americana, Grace Slick, Nick Cave, and the tasty twang bars of the surf shack.

I can’t help thinking of David Lynch… Twin Peaks and Blue Velvet …. subterranean LA or the catacombs of downtown Istanbul. Despite the invitation to descend into the darkness I am comforted and soothed by her voice. There is no other country this could come from. The Turkish Delight runs through it indelibly.


“Hologram Imparatorlugu” (Hologram Empire) is Gaye Su Akyol’s second album and it bears repeated exploration. She is clearly a lady of some artistic talent, a painter turned singer-songwriter, and in teaming up with the band Bubituzak they forge a formidable musical force.

Gaye’s vocal range and delivery rides and blends with the support of Bubituzak. The result being a captivating mix of Turkish tradition with modern rock. Basses can be broody and the guitars slip in catchy riffs teasing you along. This is a triumphant east meets west in so many ways.

“Hologram” rips it from the beginning with rapid passages flowing into more meandering seductive sections. This leads you into “Akil Olmayinca” (Without Reason) opening with a dramatic oud riff and more passionate vocals. Eastern scales and rhythms create your sense of place.

It’s not long before the twang bars take you by surprise and yet the more you listen the more you realise that this is the perfect spicey mix.

Songs are of love, loss, illusion and political ire…

“….yesterday’s piece of shit has become king over our head…..”

This is one of those albums that brings you something new with the old, the perfect evolution.I’m going to be playing this all year – I know.

Let’s hope Erdogan is a fan.

PS: there is a TEDx live video here which must have been booked on the back of the first album. High praise, indeed.

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