Zel Zele launches with a reissue of a holy grail by Ümit Aksu Orkestrası – a band formed by Turkish pianist, arranger, songwriter Ümit Aksu. Originally released in 1975, Bermuda Şeytan Üçgeni is an outstanding experimentation of forward-thinking jazz-funk played by some of Turkey’s most talented musicians.
Ümit Aksu’s work ranges from traditional Turkish dance music to jazz and funk. He worked his way through his career playing together with Süheyl Denizci – an influential tenor saxophone player who became Ümit Aksu’s long time collaborator. He played hammond organ throughout Mustafa Özkent ve Gençlik Orkestrası’s legendary psych funk album “Gençlik ile Elele”. He was on synth duties on another renown Turkish psychedelic soul classic “Ikimiz bir Fidanız" by Kamuran Akkor. He married Turkish jazz singer Ayten Alpman and wrote her cult love song “Ben Böyleyim”. Throughout the 70’s Ümit Aksu put out belly dance records with his orchestra. In 1982, together with Süheyl Denizci, he found TRT (Turkish Radio & Television Corporation) Jazz Orchestra, bringing together the country’s talented musicians. TRT Jazz Orchestra still operates and has a reputation for being the key constitution pushing jazz forwards in Turkey.
In this release, Ümit Aksu’s orchestra is formed of Süheyl Denizci on tenor saxophone, Merih Dumlu on bass, Engin Süelözgen on guitar, Cezmi Başegmez on drums, Ergüven Başaran on baritone sax, Erdoğan Ergun and Engin Erge on trumpet, Halil Saçlı on trombone, Veysel Çadır on percussion and Ümit Aksu on keyboard and synthesizer. Using a FBT brand synthesizer, Ümit Aksu creates otherworldly cosmic sound effects. At the time, distribution of this equipment was very limited but he was lucky to receive it as a gift from his son who brought it from Italy. Both tracks in the 7” were arranged by Turkish-Armenian producer, composer and songwriter Norayr Demirci, the genius behind some of the most well known Turkish pop and dance music releases of the 70s of artists like Ajda Pekkan, Kamuran Akkor and Edip Akbayram. Bermuda Şeytan Ücgeni was recorded in Istanbul’s Studyo Hayri.
Side A: Bermuda Şeytan Üçgeni
Bermuda Şeytan Üçgeni is the musical adaptation of The Bermuda Triangle, also known as the Devil's Triangle. A whirlpool leading into a jazz/funk piece with playful horn section, funky bass-line and drum breaks, almost sounding like an adventurous Blaxploitation soundtrack. A daring sax solo comes into play by the second minute that sets the ship on fire. Just when you think that must be it,
starts the synthesiser havoc; chaos, alarms, whirlwind all goes off as the mystery of the triangle unfolds.
Side B: Boğaziçi Köprüsü
Boğaziçi Köprüsü meaning Bosphorus Bridge, is the name of the first bridge in Istanbul that connects the Asian and European sides of the city. The track was released 2 years after the bridge was built. It starts with a car engine which is about to take a nostalgic and playful ride through the Bosphorus Bridge. Melodic, synth led tune that reminds us of early Italian library recordings.
About Zel Zele:
Grand movements of the earth, a vibration that knows no borders, race, gender or genre.
Zel Zele aims to bring the old and the new, from dustiest of crates to fresh music, with its non linear sound.