Zaman Ziyan

05/03/2024Ayyuka Return With A Reverb-Ridden Postcard From Istanbul Honouring The Slow Life With A Vengeance

Bridging continents from birth and styles since initially getting together in 2001, Istanbul-based outfit Ayyuka has been reimagining Turkish music – notably the infamous psychedelic era of the 1970s – on its own terms, and with quite some success. Juxtaposing their local roots and musical influences with global genres such as afrobeat, surf rock, funk and more, the four musicians have created an extensive discography by just doing their thing. We first chanced upon their 2013-released sophomore album "Kiracı Odaları" while strolling down Istanbul's İstiklal Caddesi, but lost track of their subsequent releases: namely their third studio album "Sömestr" (2015), which featured Nigerian saxophonist Orlando Julius, and the acclaimed follow-up "Maslak Halayı" (2020), created alongside award-winning producer Tommaso Colliva (of Calibro 35 fame). Then suddenly, last week, we received an instrumental postcard from Turkey, or rather Ayyuka's latest EP.

"Zaman Ziyan" is a four-track ode to the concept of wasting time and anything but a waste of time. A sun-drenched, slightly nostalgic trip from the get-go, the band is quick to disperse a fresh batch of reverb-ridden, wah-wah and feel-good grooves on EP opener "'87" and set the breezy tone. Up next is "Küfelik" – which is Turkish slang for a state of severe inebriation – although the swaying, tavern-style licks are performed with a steady hand, leading us to the assumption that these guys can hold their drink. "Ziyan" ('waste') appears to have been composed in a similar vein, though more laid-back, as if written from a poolside lounger while staring off into the distance, nifty rhythms playing tricks on the mind and providing fertile breeding ground for agile improvisations. Finally, "Bossanadolu" brings the leisurely affair to a brilliant close, combining an elegant bossa nova gait with surf-style riffs and Ethio-style keys to top it all off.

We don't know about you, but to us this record is 'dolce far niente' reincarnate, vacation in a bottle or simply an invitation to take your time, honouring the slow life with a vengeance. After all, there is a reason the artwork is reminiscent of a retro postcard from Istanbul in the summer. You can stream the full EP and listen to the tape master below. 

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom