The garish hazy luminosity of eight golden orbs brightens a moonlit aqueduct on the illustrated cover of Altın Gün’s third album Yol, telling you that the live favourites have ditched the dusty flangers, clangers and flared desert rock of their robust past in exchange for something even more fundamental and energetic, adopting elements of twangy cosmic disco and new romantic pop.
Immaculately produced by the Gent electronic duo Asa Moto (whose genius 2018 track Kifesh fans will recall already headily transplanted Donna Summer in the Sahara) the Dutch and Turkish musical collaborators have once again successfully captured the spiritual, nostalgic and avant future and past of contemporary Anatolia.
Merve Daşdemir beckons you in on the opening teaser Bahçada Yeşil Çınar before the groove properly kicks in with Ordunun Dereleri, a laid back composition suggestive of a vanished past invigorated by Erdinç Ecevit’s gilded velvet timbre, cut ups of traffic noise and dripping synth pulses. Elsewhere gravity can’t contain Daşdemir’s bouncy vocal theatrics on the excitable new wave Bulunur Mu or touching power ballad Arda Boyları.
A significant proportion of the record features the Omnichord, the cult portable synth arpeggiator, so beloved of musicians’ David Bowie and Sharon Van Etten. Brisk funk workhorse Kara Toprak in particular features a squelching melody that owes a debt to Stevie Wonder in much the same way as Gorillaz’ Dirty Harry. The spinning disco reggae gesticulations of recent single Yüce Dağ Başında, also make generous use of the melodica, an instrument much favoured by Damon Albarn’s global pop reprobates, as it subtly evokes Giorgio Moroder‘s throbbing version of The Moody Blues hippy standard Knights In White Satin.
Renowned for their exuberant and shapeshifting live performances and continued investigations into the danceable components of Turkish microtonal psychedelic, Altın Gün are progressing exponentially. Although it’s been unfortunate that they haven’t been on the road of late, collaborating over the Internet appears to have come as second nature to them, and they inch ever closer to the boundaries of the mainstream with this simmering assortment.