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Gevende - Kirinardi CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.94 | 19 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars Turkey has never been a nation that comes to mind when thinking of more progressive styles of music especially in a rock context but there have been a few acts that have created interestingly progressive music since all the way back in the 70s including Barış Man'on, Moğollar as well as Cem Karaca & Dervişan. While technically classified as progressive rock, these early bands adapted the local flavors of Anatolian rock which infuses the elements of Turkish folk music along with psychedelic tones and textures. However in the 21st century more and more bands have forsaken the ethnic sounds in favor of joining the greater world of prog. Nemrud has become one of Turkey's most recognized psychedelic space rock bands and Replikas has crafted a unique hybrid of Anatolian rock with German flavored Krautrock. 
GEVENDE has become one of Turkey's top prog bands since its formation in the year 2000. Having taken its name from a Kurdish musical instrument, this band started out as one of the many fusionist bands that blended the Anatolian flavors with the compositional heft of progressive rock but over time has steadily decreased the local flavors and adopted a more worldly approach. After the band released its debut 'Ev' in 2006, the band toured extensively through the silk road destinations of Iran, Pakistan, India and even Nepal to give various concerts and then quickly followed up with a European tour. With all that exposure to different cultures GEVENDE found its distinctly Turkish sounds of its early years giving way to a more diverse palette.

'Kırınardı' is the band's four album (if you count the 2014 original soundtrack 'Monochroma') and still features the same lineup of Ahmet Kenan Bilgi' (guitar, vocals), 'mer 'zt'yen (viola), Can 'mer Uygan (trumpet), Okan Kaya (bass, lute, cumbus) and G'k'e G'r'ay (drums) since the band's inception which is a miracle in its own right. GEVENDE's sound has evolved quite a bit since its debut which engaged in a unique blend of Anatolian rock, psychedelic folk and avant-prog with the following 'Sen Balık Değilsin ki' got more wild with heavier doses of prog rock and avant-garde jazz as well as moments of post-rock. 'Kırınardı' tamps down the jazzy elements and produces a more dreamy progressive folk styled album with only the final tracks 'Domino' and 'Vertigo' offering some more upbeat rockers.

Despite its international recognition, GEVENDE has remained a Turkish band and has experienced all the turbulence of recent years. This album came out in 2017 and reflects the detached escapist tendencies in full fusion form. According to guitarist / vocalist Ahmet K. Bilgi', the album was crafted to create a space for hope amongst incessant worries about daily survival. 'Omeias' begins with some ethnic flavors but the album quickly becomes a more contemplative mix of atmospheric synthesizers and proggy grooves and rhythms reminding me somewhat of a more ethnic version of Porcupine Tree especially around the 'Lightbulb Sun' timeline as the production is impeccable and the space rock effects are in full gear but much of the album is on the folkier side with light fluffy melodies enveloped by acoustic passages and intricately designed interpolations of percussive drive. While not as jazzy as the uptempo albums of the past, the trumpet offers a smooth jazz pastiche to the mix.

In addition to the five main players there are also guest musicians that provide saxophone sounds, violin, viola and cello so this album has much more of a chamber rock feel than previous albums. While every song is excellent the album does feel a little disjointed in that the first seven tracks are sung in the Turkish language and are more ethereal and contemplative while the final two tracks 'Domino' and 'Vertigo' are much more energetic, return the ethnic flavors accompanied by hefty rock guitar grooves and are sung in English (i think!) Overall this is a great album although a little puzzling why it is bookended with such different sounds. Probably could've had the tracks placed better but not a real biggie as GEVENDE are talented musicians that deliver some excessively atmospheric awesomeness.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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