Friday, December 26, 2008

Erkin Koray - 2 (1976)

If you like the harmonic minor scale and its modes as well as what I think is harmonic major (although I haven't gotten my guitar out to check), this is the album for you. Erkin Koray made several really great rock recordings,but this is definitely his most "Turkish" album. His fuzzed out guitar is certainly present, although it's often buried beneath Turkish instruments carrying the melody forward.

For today's musical discussion, let's think about cultural relativism. These harmonic minor modes are just as common to people living in Turkey as the major and minor scales are to us, so I'm not thinking that if a Turkish person hears that sharp seventh they go all Putumayo and are like "Oh how fun! How exotic!" However, some of these melodies sound fucking menacing to my ears. Like the first, uh, movement of Komsu Kizi for example. Are these intervals registering as menacing to people east of the Mediterranean, or is it my Western upbringing and exposure to things like terror alert levels that's all "Sharp seventh! Level orange! How much shampoo is three ounces?"

Or maybe it's because I've been listening to metal for a good chunk of my goddamn life, and that genre certainly uses the half step, whole step, half step agenda to a purposefully dark and aggressive effect. Have you guys read any of those books about music and your brain or maybe just some wikipedia articles? What's the score?


PS: A post or to ago I complained about not knowing about current music and feeling incapable of putting together a reasonable year end list.However, my friend Steve runs a real robber baron* of a techno etc. blog at, and they put together a list, with samples of the best singles of the year. This is where interesting things are happening in music, unfortunately it's not my area of expertise. It is Steve's. Go listen, especially to the DJ Bone track posted here. Fuck this rules.

*I mean this in the best way, of course.

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