Bi Cinnete Bakar


Les Disques Bongo Joe present brand new sounds from the cutting-edge of the 21st century Istanbul underground by powerhouse Turkish trio Lalalar. Riding a wave of fierce energy and acclaim generated by their show-stopping festival performances at Le Guess Who and Trans Musicales, they now unleash their hotly-anticipated debut album, Bi Cinnete Bakar. The brainchild of three of Turkey's most active and innovative alternative artists -- Ali Güçlü Şimşek, Barlas Tan Özemek, and Kaan Düzarat -- the album is a thrilling mix of punk energy, dark electronics and Turkish instrumentation and samples. You can learn a lot from the names bands give themselves --and Lalalar is no exception. Principal songwriter, Ali Güçlü Şimşek, explains: "Lala is the wise man, the teacher of sultans in Ottoman history. And at the same time, in slang, the one who doesn't know what he is talking about." Make it plural by adding "lar," and you've got a moniker that might translate as "the wiseguys," delivered with a punkish sneer. That's the kind of streetwise, confrontational attitude that crackles through Lalalar's first, uncompromising full-length offering. For listeners whose knowledge of Turkish music extends only as far as '70s Anatolian rock, Lalalar might come as a surprise. Though Şimşek suggests that those psychedelic classics are "in the veins" of all three members, Lalalar are much more than just another retro outfit. Instead, they weave subtle samples of timeless Turkish folk music into their electronic stews. Listen to how "Abla Deme Lazim Olur" begins with a flash of Arabesque strings before hunkering into a lumbering industrial-funk groove. But for all their brooding mystery, Lalalar are anything but a bunch of shoe-gazing introverts. Over the last few years, they've forged a formidable reputation for their wildly ecstatic live performances. Just as the UK's '70s punk scene was fueled by youthful discontent with Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government, Turkish youth living under President Erdoğan's rule are hungry for new sounds. All three members of Lalalar have been active on this scene for years but, although they've been friends since way back, they didn't start playing together till spring 2018. It was a long overdue meeting of minds, with a deep foundation of mutual respect. Şimşek and guitarist Barlas Tan Özemek first worked together in 2014 on the debut album of another doyen of the current Turkish scene, singer Gaye Su Akyol. For fans of: Scalping, Altin Gün, Yin Yin, Los Bitchos.