Boomkat Product Review:
Sub Rosa unearth an unparalleled archive of electronic music from Turkey, marking only their 2nd anthology focussed on a specific ”zone or sphere of influence” following An Anthology of Chinese Electronic Music 1992 - 2008, which was issued in 2009.
Perhaps an ostensibly unlikely place to hunt for electronic music, in fact Turkey has a rich and pioneering legacy of electronic experiments thanks to the early work of Bülent Arel and Ilhan Mimaroglu, who both started out in Ankara and Istanbul, respectively, before moving on to become pivotal figures in New York’s experimental matrix at the Colombia-Princeton Electronic Centre.
However, as the label point out, Arel and Mimaroglu’s influence upon Turkish experimental electronic music was quite indirect and wouldn’t manifest until decades later, “through the ‘serious’ music of conservatories and universities (Cenk Ergün, Koray Tahiro?lu, Mehmet Can Özer...) and the electronic/noise music avant-garde ((Mete Sezgin, Nilüfer Ormanlı, Utku Tavil...) - the great wave of the 2000s and 2010s.”
So this compilation is cleft in two broad categories: the first Electronic Music; bookended by Arel in the chasmic stereo explorations of Postlude from Music for a Sacred Service (1961) and Mimaroǧlu’s hauntingly spare and ominous Prelude No.17 Istanbul Fog (1996), and taking in other highlights such as the dense eruptions of Batur Sönmez’s Flash Mental Experiment No.23 (2012) and the Harry Bertoia-meets-Oud spaces of Resonating Universes Part 1 (2010) by Erdem Helvacioǧlu.
The 2nd disc is denoted Politic, Samplers, Ambient Music and renders 15 pieces ranging from the lower case glitch-pop jazz of Subconscious Memories (1994) by Mete Sezgin thru 2/5BZ’s gloaming concrète collage, Anadolog and right up to the most recent production, a pulsating study in swirling, stereo-strafing modern Turkish electronic composition entitled Democracy Lessons by Asaf Zeki Yüksel dating to 2013.