Mustafa Özkent Ve Orkestrası - Gençlik Ile Elele

Mustafa Özkent Ve Orkestrası - Gençlik Ile Elele

Verdict: 4/5

Finders Keepers Records





Written By

Dragos Rusu


March 3, 2014

The Turkish music scene happily caries a rich heritage of more than 40 years of hundreds of albums of traditional folk, pop, psych, disco, rock and beyond, all released on various obscure small record labels.

It is also the case with this very rare record that Finders Keepers discovered and re-issued in 2006. The original album was composed in ’72 and released one year later on the Turkish unknown label Evren Records. It was recorded in the Grafson studios, where the full band (Mustafa Ozkent, organist player Umit Aksu and future Anadolu SSW star Cahit Oben) would assemble to record the live music in single takes, without overdubs. In the absence of multi channel recording Mustafa Ozkent embraced some handy microphone techniques to emulate the total-stereo effect and capture the heavy psychedelic effects.

The instrumental 10 tracks album had a strong point in the early times of the Anadolu sound of the ‘70s and ‘80s. It was very well received by local DJs and also by radio and television, but only inside the country. The tracks are very energetic and rhythmical, cheerful and groovy, even though some psychedelic guitar passages, as well as hypnotic percussions, sound like an oriental-ish wagon of sweet harmonies flying in the outer space. Each track imposes originally and flows like no other.

Mustafa became a hugely in-demand arranger and producer, concentrating on his own unaccompanied and truly experimental guitar ventures relentlessly. He started his career in Ankara (Turkey) in the 60's as part of a school band.

Quoting Finders Keepers, ”to say its ambiguous sleeve design is a bit misleading is an understatement. The bright green jacket depicting a PG Tips-style monkey causing havoc in the studio is not dissimilar to an 80s chimp-sploitation poster bought from Athena. Is it a comedy record? Is it a soundtrack to a wacky Turkish movie? Is it a kids’ record? A handy list of hybrid music genres fails to make the picture any clearer – Rhythm & Soul, Blues ‘N Jazz, Folc with a ‘c’…

A great record which is surely a must have not only for any turkoholic out there in space, but also for a better understanding and acknowledge of the Anatolian splendid and complex music.


A1. Üsküdar'a Giderken
A2. Burçak Tarlaları
A3. Dolana Dolana
A4. Karadır Kara
A5. Emmioğlu
B1. Çarşamba
B2. Zeytinyağlı
B3. Silifke
B4. Lorke
B5. Ayaş