Istanbul’s producer extraordinaire Grup Ses and Cologne-based electric-saz player Elektro Hafız get together for Varyete. Travelling from deep Anatolian psychedelic grooves to dirty electronics, playful beats and hip hop, Varyete is an adventurous ride of genre-bending music.
The opening track, ‘Mega Hafıza 2’, is based around Elektro Hafız’s strong psychedelic chops on the electric saz, backed up by Grup Ses’ raw, neck-stepping beats. ‘Gargara’ takes things even deeper featuring an exploration into Tuvan throat singing, laying over a driving rhythm section and an atonal saz chord. Across the first side of the album, the duo take forays into soundscapes, psych, acid and electronics with remixes from Berlin’s producer Onofon and Istanbul’s hip hop producer and MC Da Poet adding yet more layers.
Being a prolific crate digger and a sampling whiz, Grup Ses is armed with the perfect source material for Varyete. He sits at the controls for B side, kicking off with a Grup Ses classic ‘Atardamar Operasyonu’, which has been on heavy rotation on Istanbul’s dancefloors, finally sees its release here. The track is a hard-bodied hip-hop smash infused with arabesque melodies. ‘Re Ya Hat’ features one of the only vocal performances on the album courtesy of Istanbul natives Roadside_Picnic, who deliver menacing double-time bars over a doomy beat. Grup Ses manages to tip-the-hat to the styles of yesteryear and gaze into the future while maintaining an immediately recognisable individual style. ‘Grup Ses Meets Salah Ragab in Spacetime’ sees the producer flip a sample from the Egyptian jazz musician Salah Ragab into an astral facing drum workout. Varyete finishes off with Telesafir 2, dramatic strings droned out with distortion effects to leave the listener in a state of wonder.
"A record that sounds like Turkish folk passed through Jimi Hendrix’s distorted aura and backed by a rattling J Dilla-style low end: an unlikely but deeply engrossing mix." The Guardian
released July 5, 2019
Tobias Kreusler: Synth Bass (Mega Hafıza 2, Yarım Pansiyon)
Sebastian Pathé: Drums, Bongo (Mega Hafıza 2, Yarım Pansiyon)
Grup Ses: Mix & additional production (Mega Hafıza 2, Aralık, Yarım Pansiyon)
Ahmet Türk: Mix (Ya Hat)