Electric Conscience

02/09/2016Istanbul/Cologne's Elektro Hafiz Delivers A 'Sazzy' Blend Of Anatolian Psych Grooves

Let's just get this off our chest straight away: Here's an album that pretty much slipped under our radar and that we believe deserves way more attention than it has garnered to date. The İstanbul-bred, Cologne-based artist Elektro Hafiz released his eponymous solo album on Pharaway Sounds back in spring, an electric saz smorgasbord of Anatolian psychedelia, mesmerising funk and progressive grooves moulded into a cutting-edge sound tapestry, bridging many a musical gap.

'Hafız' (pronounced Huh-fizz) in Turkish is a person, who has learned the Koran by heart and, when it comes to music, we dare say this man knows what he's doing. As expressed via Guerssen Records "Elektro Hafiz has shown and proven openness to various and sometimes contradicting music styles by mixing eastern instruments like the electric saz, darbuka and finger cymbals with different genres. He loves to play with contrasts and create new compositions from there. [...] This open and experimental approach is still his trademark, as well as his charming provocative style that is complemented by a healthy dose of humour. [...] A further ingenious characteristic of him is using the electric guitar as a rock instrument while at the same time applying the Anatolian harmony system (scale)".

After releasing three albums with his former band Fairuz Derin Bulut, Elektro Hafiz" is his first solo album, containing nine tracks and showcasing collaborations with artists from countries such as Kenya, France, Turkey, Switzerland, Austria and Germany, just to add to the already diverse mix. What's more, the album was also released as a dub version with remixes from the hands of various producers and DJs. Featured in the player above you will find an excellent dub mix of the album track "Günahkar Helvasi" (transl. sinful halva/nougat) by İstanbul-based collective Grup Ses Beats; another crew worth checking out, if you are into experimental/instrumenal hiphop, beatmaking and sampling that is. But for now, please give a warm round of applause to our main man: Elektro Hafiz.

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom