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Bi Cinnete Bakar

22/06/2022Istanbul Underground Outfit Lalalar Release Their Fiercely Innovative Debut Full-Length On Bongo Joe

Quite frankly, we're having a bit of a hard time keeping up with all the fascinating releases currently hitting the streets. This debut full-length by Istanbul's almighty Lalalar, however, is an absolute show-stopper and entirely in a league of its own. The bold and fiercely innovative three-piece is currently at the forefront of contemporary Turkish psychedelic rock and dark wave as well as a fixture on the megalopolis' tight-knit underground circuit.

"Bi Cinnete Bakar" arrives at a time, when Turkey is facing a staggering inflation of close to 75%, adding more fuel to the country's ongoing political strife. It may not come as a surprise then, that the album's general demeanour is exceedingly ominous yet in no way lugubrious, flashing a knowing and defiant grin in the face of authoritarian adversity. 

Leading the way and setting the tone is an extended version of the group's mesmerising 2019-released single "İsyanlar" (transl. 'insurrections') and the album is indeed a riot from start to finish: Be it the steep arabesque guitar riffs of "Abla Deme Lazım Olur" (also featuring in our "Greedio X May '22" Spotify playlist) or the zurna-esque stabs of "Ninja Partisi", the skit-like dramaturgy of "Kılavuz Karga” or the self-deprecating drive of "Hata Benim Göbek Adım", the misleadingly cheerful sounding "Hiç Mutlu Olmam Daha İyi" or the happy-go-lucky meandering of title track "Bi Cinnete Bakar".

On their first longplay outing as Lalalar, Ali Güçlü Şimşek, Barlas Tan Özemek and Kaan Düzarat weave a rich and rebellious tapestry composed of winding, ferocious grooves, dancefloor-ready electronics, fervent beats and "punk energy" to go with Turk-ish instrumentation and traditional folk samples, drawing on a common heritage of '70s Anatolian rock, though clearly more inspired by the new wave and dance pioneers of the '80s.

Whichever way you choose to describe their insubordinate mix, it remains to us, quite simply, one-of-a-kind and delightfully avant-garde. Click below to stream/buy the full release.

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom