Legendary Turkish psych innovators Moğollar grace the Artone Studios in Haarlem for a masterclass in the original Anadolu psych roots, cutting a compendium of their rawest hits and most-wanted psychedelic rock classics – including the J.Dilla-sampled ‘Haliç’te Güneşin Batışı’ – for the latest edition of Night Dreamer’s essential Direct-to-Disc series.
In the beginning, there was Moğollar.
Formed at the end of 1967 with five young musicians, Moğollar were the original Anadolu psych originators. They were the first Turkish pop band who tried to blend the microtonal folklore and traditional instruments of rural Anatolia with Western pop and rock; they were the first Turkish psychedelic band to achieve overseas recognition, winning the prestigious French Grand Prix Du Disque in 1971 after a period in Paris; and they coined the very phrase ‘Anadolu Pop’ with their first album release. They were radical, innovative, and hugely popular, and when the great artists of the Turkish rock revolution appeared on the scene, Moğollar were already there – stars including Barış Manço, Selda, Cem Karaca and Ersen all recorded with them or briefly joined the line-up. Moğollar were and are the undisputed pioneers of the style.
More than fifty years after first forming, Moğollar materialised in the Artone Studios to give a masterclass in fuzzed-out folklore and Turkish psychedelic roots for Night Dreamer’s Direct-to-Disc series – a fitting follow-up to Night Dreamer’s BaBa ZuLa set, coming straight from the group who laid the foundations of the genre.
In 1971, having already released numerous singles, they secured an album deal with French label Guild International du Disques. Travelling to Paris that year, they recorded their first major statement, Danses Et Rythmes de la Turquie d’Hier à Aujourd’hui, a set later released in Turkey as Anadolu Pop. The album won a prestigious French award – the Grand Prix du Disque from the L’Académie Charles Cros, an honour that had been won in the past by Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd and Soft Machine. Moğollar, and Anadolu psychedelic pop, had arrived on the international scene.
In 1976, after many more releases and line-up changes, and pressured by an increasingly difficult political situation in Turkey, the group dissolved for seventeen years, and various members dispersing to exile in Paris and Berlin. However, after a petition from their fanbase asked them to reform, they agreed to play a comeback concert in 1993. It was a huge success, and reunited, they went on to record some of their greatest work. Led today by original member Cahit Berkay alongside original bass player Taner Öngür, and joined by Cem Karaca’s son Emrah, Moğollar continue to push their uniquely original brand of fuzz-scorched folk-rock and crackling Anadolu psychedelia forward into a new millennium.
For this Night Dreamer session, Moğollar spent two days in the Artone studios, recording sides A and B on the first day, and C and D on day two. With BaBa ZuLa’s Murat Ertel adding contemporary sonic punch behind the boards, the band revisited their most renowned hits to lay down energised new versions, and dusted off some of the most sought-after cuts from their enormous catalogue. The result is a showcase set by a band that are one of true pioneers in global psychedelic rock, and a masterclass in the true roots of the Anadolu psych sound: fuzzed-out, committed, and straight from the source.
Highlights of the set include:
-‘Haliç’te Güneşin Batışı’, an Anadolu psych classic which was first issued as the b-side to the ‘Ternek’ single in 1970, before being recorded again for the Danses Et Rythmes de la Turquie d’Hier à Aujourd’hui LP in 1971. A tense slab of roughneck psychedelia, the final breakdown of the original recording was sampled by none other than J. Dilla for the ‘Intro’ cut on Welcome To Detroit.
-‘Gel Gel’, a 1974 song with head-nodding tempo change, originally featuring Cem Karaca. It is here voiced by his son Emrah Karaca, now a permanent member of Moğollar.
-‘Çığrık’, a 1972 cut which originally appeared on one of Moğollar’s most coveted singles, is a funky psych-rock workout with an unforgettably riff, a ringing guitar motif, and twist of Led Zeppelin.
-‘Düm Tek’, the title track of the bands second full LP (Düm Tek, 1975), a raw psych screamer, laced with hardcore davul drum patterns.
-‘Bi’Sey Yapmali’, first recorded for the 1996 Dört Renk album, became the anthem of huge street protests that took place in Turkey that year after an investigation uncovered a huge network of state, police and mafia corruption.
-‘Dinleyiverin Gari’, a hit from the 1994 come-back album Moğollar 94, addresses a notorious corruption scandal of the era.