Mehmet Aslan is all too aware of the power held in the traditional stringed instruments of Turkish folk music. Through solo work on Huntleys & Palmers, Disco Halal, Banoffee Pies, Hamam House and more, he’s sampled them to almost sinister effect, combining with contemporary, if slightly leftfield, dancefloor rhythms and arrangements. This new collaboration with Dario Rohrbach (of Alma Negra) is no different. The bowed sound occupies a central role in ‘Gazel’, a track that’s been doing the rounds with Baris K, Ata and Acid Arab for a couple years and now finally sees a release on Aslan and Maijica’s (also from Alma Negra) Fleeting Wax imprint.
Like a call to prayer echoing across the Bospherus, the stringed sample has a dramatic and stirring presence, which is heightened further by those vocals. The term “belter” probably wasn’t in circulation when this chap first sung his refrain, but boy does he give it some gusto. As one of the many components in ‘Gazel’ that are build for hair-raising effect, this track further consolidates the role Turkish folk plays on our dancefloors.
Gazel EP is out 2nd September on Fleeting Wax, with additional tracks from Alma Negra and another from Mehmet and Maijica. Catch Mehmet in London on 13th Aug with Jonny Rock, for a Turkish Infusion with STW and Dance Tunnel.