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Gevende - Sen Balık Değilsin Ki CD (album) cover



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Mellotron Storm
5 stars I thought their debut was a solid 4 stars but it took a while to grow to that for me. I knew this second album was special after one listen, in fact it's on a whole other level when compared to the debut. It's in the same style with the trumpet and violin taking prominant roles but for my tastes the music is much better. For my final listen for this review I went through this song after song waiting for that high level to drop off but it never did. An incredible release !

"Vigeland" opens with bass and drums and I love that intro. Violin comes in screaming. How good is this ! It settles back before 2 minutes. So good as we get a powerful atmosphere with drums. Trumpet 3 minutes in then vocals for the first time after 4 1/2 minutes. "Esinti" has this relaxed beat as the guitar then violin joins in. Reserved vocals follow. Chunky bass too. Trumpet 2 1/2 minutes in as the vocals stop. Incredible sound 4 minutes in. A calm follows then the vocals return. Violin replaces the vocals and it's dissonant at times. Killer stuff. "Akvaryum" has relaxed trumpet to open then reserved vocals before 2 minutes as the trumpet stops. Deep guitar notes then violin before the trumpet returns. Amazing tune. "Igloo" has picked guitar as reserved vocals join in. Percussion and trumpet too as it builds. It does settle back. Such a great sound here. Violin before 4 1/2 minutes.

Love the dissonance in "Kadibostan" along with the outbursts of sound. It kicks in around a minute and vocals follow. This is catchy and entertaining. Love the vocals 3 minutes in. Intense violin before 4 minutes. It kicks in. Hell yeah ! A calm follows with trumpet then it builds. "Sanki" opens with picked something as clapping joins in. Vocals before a minute. A full sound follows as contrasts continue. The guitar 4 1/2 minutes in lights it up. "Beboyi Yerki" opens with heavy and deep sounds with atmosphere. Vocals a minute in. Killer sound. Fantastic track ! "Sustum" opens with bass as a beat joins in. Smooth vocals follow. Guitar too. It picks up with trumpet. Great sound late.

An absolute pleasure from beginning to end. Thanks Todd !

Report this review (#749799)
Posted Sunday, May 6, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars I just became a forum member to write a review for this album. I have been visiting progarchives for years;I have been tempted to submit ratings and write reviews before but it took this album to finally get me to act. This should indicate how strongly I feel about it. This album is absolutely creative, unique, emotional and universal. The band was formed in Turkey and the members are all Turkish but it is difficult to find any distinct Turkish "flavor" in the music (not that anything is particularly wrong with that; I have been enjoying their first album, which had more of that flavor, for years). Having said all of this, we all have different tastes, we seek different sounds; so, I am sure not everyone will like this album but I recommend it as strongly as possible to those who enjoy good melodies, compositions and a wonderful use of brass and string instruments along with traditional rock structures. Call it eclectic if you like but I don't like those classifications that much, it is just excellent music, pushing boundaries, trying new things that will move you and take you places.
Report this review (#1089868)
Posted Saturday, December 14, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars The albums we really love usually contain either new and previously unimagined musical expressions or perfectly executed music that we are already familiar with. But sometimes, very rarely for me, it happens to come across a band that plays music exactly in the way we hoped or dreamt to. I remember that I felt this way 20 years ago when I first listened to the Tea Party. Now Gevende offers me the same awkward feeling.

As many music lovers know, Turkey has a great music scene and I dare to say that Gevende is probably the best Turkish band I've ever heard. They were formed back in 2000, they travelled a lot in the east and they released their debut ''Ev'' in 2006. That album was deeply influenced by their journeys and leaned on the ethnic side of their sound. This second album was released 5 years later and it is instantly realized that Gevende has progressed and matured in every possible way. One thing remains the same: their music still carries the scent of distant journeys, of earth and sea, of the desert, of strange cities, of ports and caravans!

Though their sound is truly solid, it is not easy to describe their style. The final result stands somewhere between psychedelic rock and fusion, but many progressive and ethnic/folk influences are also present. Due to the fact that their compositions focus more on the melodies rather than technical complexity, many slow tempo parts seem to have a distant relation with trip hop and post music, I mean in aesthetics and not in sound. Their compositions though are so perfectly worked in every detail that a unique artistic construction is being created, with all the different materials unable to be separated from one another.

The viola (Omer Oztuyen, he plays some mandolin too) and especially the trumpet (Serkan Emre Ciftci) play the major part in Gevende's music, performing the vast majority of leads and solos. For instance, if you could remove the brass section in the opening track ''Vigeland'', you'd have a prog rock anthem, powerful, technical and intense. Instead, we get a much more colourful result. For me, the absolute star of the album is the bass of Mr. Okan Kaya. Many compositions seem to have been built upon his incredible melodies and grooves, excellent work really, supported by the amazing and wise drumming of Gokce Kurcay. Ahmet Kenan Bilgic has a double role in Gevende: his guitar is gentle and soft, mostly enriching harmonically the music (only one guitar solo, in ''Sanki''!). His vocal contribution is amazing though and mainly responsible for the oriental element of their music. As a Greek, I understand many of the traditional scales that he uses and I tell you, this guy's doing a tremendous job.

From beginning to end, the orchestration and performing of the album is truly the work of masters. All songs range from 5.5 to 9 minutes, so the band in every track unravels a wide range of ideas and virtues. Gevende seem to compose based on long jams and improvisations and you can feel this in the way the music flows. Often a song evolves in a much unexpected way; do not make the mistake of not hearing each one in its entirety. Some of the best and most epic parts hide in the final minutes or seconds of a song (for example, tracks 2, 3, 6, 8). Besides the first track ''Vigeland'', which as I mentioned is almost straight prog and ''Beboyi Yerki'', a hypnotizing tune of almost a religious nature, the rest of the material can be divided in two categories: the tracks that sound a bit more fusion/folk (''Igloo'', ''Kabidostan'', ''Sanki'') and the ones that tend to be more psychedelic (''Esinti'', ''Akvaryum'', ''Sustum''). Of course, each one has a strong personality and hides its own, unique surprises. You will discover dramatic violin leads (2, 3), strange ebows (4), even human whistles (5) and you can never be sure about what lies in the next turn. No matter what happens though, the music never lacks its sensitivity, its great structures and melodies, its jazzy touch and its freshness.

I'd like to especially comment on two tracks. ''Akvaryum'' is an absolute wonder. It begins with a film noir-like jazz trumpet and progresses so melodically and softly that it almost sounds fragile (constantly demanding your full inner participation), slowly building a climax towards an amazing end: a simple but magnificent end which is fully capable of bringing the listener to tears. ''Sustum'' on the other hand is the song that introduced me to Gevende. Saw it on Youtube by chance and I listened to it ten times, unable to believe my ears. Now, countless listenings after that, I still believe that this composition is absolutely perfect in every note, a piece of sheer perfection, personality and ultimate quality. As far as I'm concerned, this has to be one of my 2-3 favourite songs of the current decade so far. The perfect ending of an album that should be considered as something very close to a masterpiece, as long as you are not one of those who believe that masterpieces are being released only by super famous bands/artists.

Fully aware that this review may seem a bit subjective, I highly recommend this to any real friend of good innovative music. For me, Gevende is one of the most fascinating bands globally, sensational music produced by real musicians/creators/people. And if they are able to maintain this level of inspiration, then wide artistic reputation will be inevitable if there is justice in the world of music. This is definitely a masterpiece of borderless art. 93/100 in my rating system.

5 universal stars

Report this review (#1399686)
Posted Friday, April 17, 2015 | Review Permalink
4 stars Turkish jazz-rock with folk twists and a pulsating progressive rock rhythm section? Don't mind if I do! Serkan Emre Çiftçi deserves particular praise on this one for the trumpet performances, which really transform the compositions whenever Serkan is unleashed, whilst Ahmet Kenan Bilgiç's lead vocals and guitar performances find him playing two distinct roles; with the guitar, he adds a gentle note to proceedings, whilst his vocals are based around traditional scales and ring forth with pride and clarity. With the swirling mixture of psychedelic and jazz influences, Gevende end up sounding like an act who could proudly share a stage with the likes of early Soft Machine.
Report this review (#1677985)
Posted Tuesday, January 10, 2017 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album is fantastic in its own way. It begins in such a sweet way and little by little it clarifies what is the panorama where all the music happens passionately. The use of the trumpet is absolutely magnificent: it moves from symphonic rock to jazz/funk, striking the outstanding notes and giving the songs a unique and indigenous sound. I don't know much about Turkey prog but surely this must be one of the best. In my opinion, the rise of the album is the original "Akvaryum". This song has one of the coolest and most accurate endings I've ever heard. It seems that the song was made to reach the end once and for all and release a perfect multi-instrumentation. I feel like something is missing to get the 5 stars ... The album sometimes has somewhat tedious passages, with common chords progressions that detract a bit of quality. Anyway, this is a great piece.
Report this review (#2600571)
Posted Friday, October 8, 2021 | Review Permalink

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