Burhan Öçal, the ruling percussionist, and Pete “Namlook” who’s considered to be one of the most productive songwriters of contemporary electronic music are back with the third episode of their longterm mutual project “Sultan”.
Being a metamorphosis from an ethno-electronic project enriched by the musical vision of the two masters to a universal artwork, “Sultan Orhan” undoubtedly has the potential to become an international masterpiece with its electronic patterns and instrumental richness as well as its vivid musical and lyrical expression combined with a unique style within.
“Sultan Orhan”, some recordings of which were initialized five years ago in Klanglabor Hödeshof studio located on the borderline between Germany and Luxembourg, is the third of the series portraying sequences from the lives of the sultans and reflecting the magnificence of the Ottoman Empire.
The duet provides with an expression of a well-blended personal musical vision and diverse eras of Turkish music history, thus revealing the Ottoman heritage in a musically endowed manner.
In this album where numerous traditional instruments are employed with their utmost exclusive features, Öçal performs on all percussions and string instruments in the songs all of which are written by himself. The artist rediscovers the Turkish rhythm language which is recreated when adapted to earthenware kettledrum and other instruments. In other words, he demonstrates an explicit excellence in percussion. Moreover, he furnishes it with the unique sensation of human voice. Ahmet Elbasan plays the shrill pipe. The clarinet was recorded by Öçal in a Kırklareli wedding years ago.
Namlook, on the other hand, is the founder of the electronic pattern free of computer kicks, yet close to analog recordings that totally give the acoustic impression peculiar to the most dominant post-rave genre ‘ambient’. Although there are prerecorded samples and sounds, three quarters of the album is gifted with the acoustic intruments to assure an organic and authentic structure.
The profoundly whirling noises of the metalic drums are interrupted by zeybek motifs that commence with flexible percussion. Impressive speech and chaotic elements refer to the Byzantic intrigues. The fourth episode revealing Sultan Orhan’s alluring reign is narrated by Öçal whilst the fifth is a lament on the death of the sultan.
The last two episodes of the album which mingles the universal and the local brings about our recent history. The rhythmic language adopted to kettledrum mobilized with Öçal’s vocals glorifies Gypsy and Thrace melodies with percussions pursued with even stronger percussions that remind us of a ritual when finalized with Öçal’s vocals. The story is thus like an inward quest.
PART I - VII
Burhan Öçal: metal drums, percussions, tanbur, saz, spoon, oud, vocals and spoken word
Pete Namlook: additional percussion, synthesizers, digital editing, arrangements
Zurna by Ahmet Elbasan (Part I)
Clarinet by N.N