A turkish Gipsy Kings- that's the immediate imression when the first track kicks in with its fizzing saz,guitars, drums and handclaps. That's Gipsy Kings in the best sense (as opposed
to the cheesy) - strong vocals and a catchy melody with a goodtime vibs, even when the song is about missing your beloved.
Derya Takkali is a striking figure with a Salvador Dali moustache and black flowing locks, he's a singer, saz player and composer who was born in central Anatolian 1970 but who has lived in Berlin since he was nine, and he is currently making a self-conscious effort to bring the Turkish saz into a more European sound. There's a considerable line-up of instrumentalists here - guitars, strings, flute, Latin and Turkish
percussion and on "Bu yil bana" a brassy Latin-style horn section.
One of the percussionists, Souleymane Toure, also uses djembe and talking drum. At times things get too busy, too congested, but there are moments of
lightness- feathery saz and Greek bouzouki flutter above a rattling percussion
riff on one track, for instance.
Derya sees himslef as a contemporary
asik (troubadour), bringing the old Turkisch tradition into the 21st century, singing lyrics written by his father. Derya often sings at the top of his register, which gives his voice a slightly strained, mourful quality, although his tempos are predominantly upbeat and the album would benefit from sone slower numbers. Even "Huezuen" (melancholy) has a rather jaunty
quality about it. But Derya is taking an interesting direction. This could be the soundtrack for Turkey's entry into the EU.
(Songlines, the world music magazine)