Baba Zula – XX

Album Review | Glitterbeat | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 3/5

This two-disc compilation covers a wide range of music courtesy of one of Turkey’s most interesting psychedelic outfits.  Here, taking the ‘best of’ concept to new heights by choosing live recordings and remixes, instead of re-releasing already established tracks, the Istanbul-based explorative ensemble celebrate their twenty-years together with a release that captures some of their most adventurous work.  Covering a wide range of styles that includes psych-rock, Anatolian folk music, Krautrock and anything else that comes to hand, XX (or ‘Twenty’) not only provides something new for established fans but also a good starting point for newcomers to their music.  It has to be said, there’s plenty to go at here, especially with an additional disc covering dub mixes.  The gentle side of Baba Zula can be found in the enchanting trance-like sound of Cecom, complete with the dreamy sound of gently splashing waves, assorted exotic birds singing and crickets chirping, which is in stark contrast to their more suggestive “Erotika Hop”, a sort of fleeting “Je t’aime moi non plus” for those in a particular hurry.  XX also demonstrates the band’s fondness for collaboration, with such luminaries as Sly & Robbie, Mad Professor, Dr. Das (Asian Dub Foundation) and Alexander Hacke (Einstürzende Neubauten) to name but a few, adding their particular musical voices to the mix.  By all means let the cover shot distract you and enter the world of Baba Zula.