Double Moon Baba Zula & Mad Professor : Psychebelly Dance Music (2003)***'
Double Moon Baba Zula & Mad Professor : Duble Oryantal (rec.2003 & 2005)***°
Early in 2006 I saw a concert of Baba Zula in Antwerp. It was the last concert of their tour. Although only two musicians were on stage they gave a great concert based upon Anatolian folk music with modern rhythms and keyboards and electric saz with effects. Murat Ertel showing himself to be a magician with his instrument, but also Levent Akman could conjure a complete rhythmically driven orchestra. Two girls added more visual effects : computer drawings beamed on a background screen, looked nice especially when in colour, and a dancer reminded me vaguely of belly dances.
Baba Zula’s latest release from 2003 is even when the band is smaller, very much an idea of the basic ideas where the new Baba Zula starts from. There were several moments that might have been similar or elsewhere even more impressive and creative. For this release Baba Zula had a larger line-up and many people cooperating : For this release it was Murat Ertel: Saz, string instruments, theremin, vocals ; Levent Akman: spoon, frame drum, def, conga, sampler machine ; Alexander Hacke (Einsturzende Neubauten): bass, Emre Onel: percussion instruments, sampler, finger cymbals ; Hüseyin Ceylan: percussion, cajun, finger cymbals, davul, def ; Hüsnü Senlendirici (Laço Tayfa): clarinet ; Okan Yýlmaz : keyboards, percussion Oya Erkaya, bass, Mad Professor : percussion, Sly Dunbar, drums, Robbie Shakespeare, bass, Black Steele, rhythm guitar, Sky Juice, percussion, Özkan Ugur (MFÖ), vocals, Mehmet Güreli, Brenna MacCrimmon, Tugba Önal, Cagla Köseoullari, Görkem Yeltan : Vocals, Nermin Er, voice and sounds.
The influence of British dub producer Mad Professor is noticeable on a few tracks, and the music has been approached with respect. Last four bonus tracks are dub tracks, labelled as 'oriental dub'. They were mixed by Sly & Robbie, a popular Jamaican bass and drum reggae duo. At least one other track, "Children of Istanbul" was also influenced by reggae, but in a pure and entirely Anatolian way, as a kind of belly dance reggae. The contribution of clarinet by Hüsnü Senlendirici is very moody. In a similar way every participant adds his personal contributing element to the whole, making the music attractive and pleasant. The music documentary movie "Crossing the Bridge" done in cooperation with Alexander Hacke showed his interest in Baba Zula, and he also contributed on this release.