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ERKIN KORAY

Psychedelic/Space Rock • Turkey


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Erkin Koray biography
A key figure in development in Rock (not just psychedelic or progressive rock) music in Turkey: Erkin Koray was born in June 25th, 1941 in Istanbul. His mother Vehice Koray was a tutor in Municipality Conservatory, in other words, Koray started music in his mother's womb.
Classical music developed the entire living at his home. He started to take piano lessons at 5, then he moves to guitar, probably because it is a more lively and active instrument. He and his brother Korkut Koray (who played drums in Erkin's various recordings, as well as a brief solo career, also in mainstream psychedelic style...) went through an intense musical training.

Koray meets Rock during his years in German High School. They start to play well-known rock 'n roll tunes with his friends. In this period, the one and only band making this kind of music in Turkey was Deniz Harp Okulu Orkestrasi (The Naval College Orchestra) ! While Koray and his friends had been carrying on their work, they come across a great opportunity: to have a gig in Galatasaray High School in 1957.

setlist of the concert:
1) Ain't That a Shame - Fats Domino
2) Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On - Jerry Lee Lewis
3) Hound Dog - Elvis Presley
4) I'm Walkin' - Fats Domino
5) Don't Be Cruel - Elvis Presley

The audience included Baris Manco (another important figure in history of Turkish rock music), who was a junior-high sophomore. Quite impressed by Erkin Koray and his friends, Manco dreams of the future times when he himself would give such gigs and goes on his musical studies. This gig also starts Erkin Koray's musical life.

His first single Bir Eylül Aksami (A September evening)/ It's So Long was recorded and released in 1962, while he was still studying in conservatory. After the school finishes, he gets drafted and serves in Hava Kuvvetleri Caz Orkestrası (Air Force Jazz Orchestra) in Eskisehir (a big city in central Anatolia). During this time he gets to know the Turkish folk ballads better and starts to interpret them with Western tunes.

After another single in the classic Rock & Roll vein two years later, released during his military service period, Koray went to Europe to investigate their culture and know their music better. When he returns three years later, he released Kizlari da Alin Askere (Draft girls to the army)/ Ask Oyunu (Love game), his first musical work incorporating Turkish themes, as well as hints of then-newly emerging psychedelia. Th...
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4.04 | 22 ratings
Elektronik Türküler
1974

ERKIN KORAY Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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4.17 | 6 ratings
Erkin Koray
1973
4.00 | 5 ratings
Erkin Koray 2
1976

ERKIN KORAY Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

ERKIN KORAY Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Elektronik Türküler by KORAY, ERKIN album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.04 | 22 ratings

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Elektronik Türküler
Erkin Koray Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams

4 stars Erkin KORAY is thought as one of Turkish psychedelic progressive rock legends. His musical style is pretty simple but is filled with ethnicity, tribalism, and fusion of Western and Islamic essence. This Middle East-West mixture is well done and splendidly matured, that should be his originality and mystic, energetic fuel for his career itself. Featuring beautiful sitar sounds, surrealistic percussion, and smooth, melodious, humane voices. I've already listened to the eponymous album by a Turkish suprapsych combo Bunalim launched in 1971, and felt just like I had got drenched in mysterious texture with some definite familiarity ... such a feeling has been popped up around me via his creation.

His rhythmic part is quite simple and exciting (or danceable) but melody lines are too innovative and impressive for me (a Japanese) to help getting addicted completely. Every tone and musical note should absorb me in another dimensional sense (cannot realize in an apparent manner really though). Turkey is active and aggressive for various cultural issues between Europe and Asia, and their powerful humanity might have produced such an addiction. Suppose this style be popular around Turkey? Maybe yes.

Electric guitar fuzz from the beginning until the last masterpiece "T'rk'" sounds not declined but musically rich. Pretty fantastic and fanatic is hotchpotched and orientally flooded soundscape with cool wind instrumental bullets in "T'rk'", that might mention all of his elements I imagine. Sorta passion.

 Elektronik Türküler by KORAY, ERKIN album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.04 | 22 ratings

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Elektronik Türküler
Erkin Koray Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by ctasan

4 stars The first LP of Erkin Koray, after releasing lots of singles since late 1960s. LP was scarce in Turkey up to 1973, since it was expensive (vinyl players, too) and the LP record technology was not being used widely.

This album features covers of folk songs from psychedelic and rock and roll perspective. Folk songs were most listened music and selling good, so musicians were often using them. Psychedelic and Turkish folk came together and created a blend that can't be found anywhere. Guitars often resemble Jimi Hendrix, few albums in Turkey managed to reach this level!

Karlı Dağlar, Cemalım, Yalnızlar Rıhtımı and Hele Yar are upstanding songs of the album.

All songs are folk except Yalnızlar Rıhtımı (hit song, good rock and roll) and Türkü (composed by Koray, features a poem of Nazım Hikmet).

7.5/10 for excellent musicianship and creativity. Recommended.

 Elektronik Türküler by KORAY, ERKIN album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.04 | 22 ratings

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Elektronik Türküler
Erkin Koray Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by talha

5 stars The Turkish scene of psychedelic rock is not always as bright as what we hear on this album.

This album features some traditional Turkish folk songs as powerful psych rock, and it does wonderfully. The melancholy inside the lyrics, the special voice of Erkin Koray and psychedelic jamming comes together to form a great energy with some very special feelings that you might not be able to get from other albums.

I've always considered most of the traditional songs' beauty depend on psychedelia that is unintendedly involved. For traditional Turkish music, this idea is valid. You can feel this easily on some of Erkan Oğur's albums as well. But here, this album represents them on true psychedelic form, with rock drumming, heavy guitars, jazzy bass guitar and all.

Though some songs are not traditional. "Korkulu Rüya" is a frightening short trip. "Yalnızlar Rıhtımı" is a song written by Erkin Koray, which is a back-step from the overall style of the album. Because it doesn't use the signature sounds of Turkish music. It's a great song though. I enjoy it very much.

"Cemalım" is again a traditional song, which is my favourite on the album. "İnat" is a powerful rock guitar solo with interesting percussion.

The last song is another trip. It features a poem from the famous socialist Turkish poet Nazım Hikmet. 8 minutes of spoken words and psychedelic instrumentation and effects. Great use of flutes and the Turkish guitar-like instrument "bağlama".

I'm going to say it again: The traditional songs are performed so well here that this is a must-listen for every Turkish rock listener. I recommend giving it a listen even if you're not Turkish, because you'll surely enjoy the psychedelia presented here.

Overall instrumentation is superb with the classic rock instruments and the Turkish instruments highly involved. These guys are very talented musicians. With Erkin Koray's great musical mind and the other's wonderful jamming, they recorded this wonderful album, full of trips and great representation of Turkish music. Recommended to anyone who would give a listen to something from the Turkish rock scene of 60s and 70s.

5-star songs: Cemalım, Hele Yar, Karlı Dağlar, Sır, Yalnızlar Rıhtımı. 4-star songs: Türkü, İnat. 3-star songs: Korkulu Rüya.

 Elektronik Türküler by KORAY, ERKIN album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.04 | 22 ratings

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Elektronik Türküler
Erkin Koray Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by ourlawisliberty

4 stars now this is the real experimental turkish new folk album you wanted! forget about the mogollari baris manco or cem karaca... erkin koray stands where the real revolution done in 74 but sorry for all of us he didn't choose to continue on this road. his first lp "elektronik türküler" was a different affair all together for koray who is more interested in then growing arabesque music in turkey. all of is ep's were some kind of psychedelic hard rock with some arabesque stylings even his famous invention electro-baglama was done with important contribution from fellow arabesque musician orhan gencebay and faruk tekbilek- a vey important composer who worked with both gencebay and koray - so koray's approach to turkish folk music was rather obscure in many ways. but in 74 he make this mind blending lp debut with elektronik türküler and he really change the basics in turkish folk music. while bands like mogollar, ersin ve dadaşlar etc... were just re-inventing what is already there with western instruments koray did something else in his album he change the compositional core of the turkish folk music. while re-writing the local folk tunes just like other anatolian rockers he also change the structure of the songs not just re-perform them. the album contains 8 cuts the longer(folk inspired) ones are connected each other with shorter psychedelic hard rocking songs which is a great thing to do both contains some kind of togetherness to the album and avoids to being repeat itself and the mood is constantly changed between folk, psychedelia to (even)his early arabesque-rock style you the first song karlı daglar is originally a middle anatolian folk song koray with his classical baglama opens the song with his mellow singing. bass and drums are nicely supporting koray this is a simple and powerful execution of basic anatolian rock formula with some electric guitar flourishes now and then... second song is one of the shorter psychedelic cuts with some darbuka in the back and electric guitar used as if it is a baglama a nice little instrumental goes into more conventional rock vein near the end with guitar solo supported with some very good rhythm and in the end goes back to electric guitar who acts like baglama style just brilliant. third one again a classical folk song hele yar starts with really different baglama use almost in virtuoso style very different from classical baglama after this magnificent intro song takes more straightforward turn and follows the same structure to the end with the sentence "hele yar" is constantly repeated at the chorus which leads to a very fun ending. also in this song a mellow tambur(a traditional turkish string instrument) sound can be heard in the back. after this we got "korkulu rüya" another short psychedelic piece but not an instrumental more like a mood piece with bass, organ and erkin koray's sighs and some slide guitar (i think) and this song connects us to the yalnızlar rıhtımı the most well known track of the record and an instant classic now this is the point where koray breaks his folkish approach and goes back to his arebesque-psycheledia roots another song lead by koray's voice with piano and a strong rhythm at the back a very lovable song with very good lyrics. after that we directly cut to cemalım a turkish-balkan folk song re- performed by koray. this is more of a "back to basics" song with some minimalist psychedelic touches clocking at 8 minutes. after cemalım we had the magnificent "inatçı" another short piece an instrumental with some jagged guitar sound it is freaking hard rocking song with some bongo truly masterful guitar work an garage rock piece and a very strong one right after this we are throwed into the chaotic beginning of a song simply called "turku" with saxes, guitars, basses and drums are just blown into our ears then calms anatolian woodwind instrument) actually this is not an folk arrangement basically the lyrics are famous verses from nazımm hikmet's epic poem about turkey's war of liberation what koray did however he takes this all kinds of musical instruments and ideas from all over anatolia and composes them (with help of western instruments as well) in a way we had never heard before with some fascinating tempo changes here and there this is true masterpiece but unfortunately it is rather unknown even in turkey. so this is a masterpiece for all those out there who interested in folk, psychedelic or even progressive music a solid four star!!!
Thanks to Bilek Güler - Istanbul for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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