Hayvanlar Alemi : Guarana Superpower
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Hailing from the Turkish capital of Ankara, Hayvanlar Alemi is a group of contemporary players steeped in the art of psychedelics, surf, and expansive rock instrumental grandeur. Formed in 1999, the band is led by Özüm İtez (electric guitar) and Işık Sarıhan (percussion) and they’ve released a variety of CDs and mp3 tracks in Turkey and beyond leading up to this, Guarana Superpower, their first official release outside their home country. The tracks drift from majestic beauty to blazing delirium with İtez etching his manifesto for electric guitar every step of the way backed by Sarihan’s wide variety of percussion styles. Although the group is rooted in classical and modern Turkish psych-rock in spirit, they draw on a large range of sounds and influences, and traces of Turkish styles are hard to pin down. Two of the tracks, “MEGA Lambada” and “Guarana Superpower,” are more reminiscent of late ’80s post-punk experimental mind-melting, referencing Torch Of The Mystics-era Sun City Girls in grand fashion. Other cuts expand on a diversity of areas including tripped-out surf, retro Cambodian rock, electrified Thai Mor Lam and Saharan guitar music. Every single track is memorable and the incredible variety helps confirm the fact that Hayvanlar Alemi is one of today’s great rock instrumental combos. CD version features two bonus tracks and includes an 8-page color insert with photos of the group.