The compilation LP of Shadoks Music called Love Peace and Poetry: The Asian Psychedelic Music was one of the symbols of the vinyl record revival at the end of the 1990s’. The LP contained a large variety of psychedelic music of the1960s and 1970s from the Asian countries especially the Indochinese and Far East countries.
Teddy Robin & The Playboys (Hong Kong), San Ul Lim (South Korea), Justin Heathcliff (Japan), Ros Sereysothea (Cambodia), The Mops (Japan), Yuya Uchida And The Flowers (Japan), The Fentones (India), Confusions (India), The Quest (Singapore), Jung Hyun And The Men (South Korea) were represented in the compilation. Not only those countries, Turkey has also been represented; and the representation was significant with 4 tracks which are more than the other countries in the quantitative aspect.
The ones that were represented were Barış Manço’s Derule (arranged from a Black Sea Region Folk Song), Erkin Koray’s İstemem (arranged from a Classical Turkish Music song), Üç Hürel’s Gönül Sabreyle (original composition from the band’s lead man Feridun Hürel) and a late setup of Moğollar’s Katip Arzuhalim (Arranged from an anonymous composition of Pir Sultan Abdal’s poem).
If we exclude Ros Sereysothea and The Fentones, most of the works displayed in this compilation are basically located in the middle of a western Anglo American type of aesthetics. On the other hand, the works displayed from Turkey provide a non homogenic type of a native rock which can be called Anatolian Rock (or more definitely Anatolian Pop as rock meant Rockn’Roll and they preferred to use term pop to denote psychedelic or prog rock)).
Why was it so? Taner Öngür of Moğollar (The Mongolians Rock Band existing since 1967) explains it as Turkish Touch of Psychedelic rock was a unique form in this genre. Although there is a mutual perspective of native rock, the artists and the groups of this era used different aspects to crystallize their goal.
In the end of 60s and during the 70s, the artists try to call their music with different terms such as Turkish Rock, Folk Pop, Anatolian Pop etc. On the other hand their main goal was to make something local and native and to be a natural member of the beat generation. As members of a post war generation, they had a fancy with what happened in terms of rock’n’roll, existentialism, pacifism etc. On the other hand, they had also some values like regarding the 27th May 1960 military coup as the date of revolution which can be easily classified as absurd. Nevertheless, it was not absurd as a premise of the coup was a student rebel and the Constitution prepared after the coup had many liberal parts like the free organization of the labor unions and a more fair election system. Also the political pressure on the press was lower therefore novels of Turkish ‘agricultural’ left wing writers were freely consumed and read. Therefore, a more liberated youth was eager to make peace with their national roots in means of a left wing rhetoric opposing cultural imperialism and we should also note that the left had a paradoxical relation with the Kemalist politics.
Ruhi Su was a key figure to integrate youth with folk music. He was also the legendary performer of Osman Paşa Anthem with the alternative words during the student protests and after the coup, Ruhi Su became popular with his operatical voice and unique bağlama playing. Su will be the first idol of returning to folk roots for most of the western popular music and jazz performers.
Although Celal İnce (Turkish tango and fox trot singer) made a folk arrangement called Adanalı during the 50s and Dario Moreno had a huge success with the French-Turkish version of Entarisi Ala Benziyor in the title of Ali, the real revival of folk music in western harmonic system in popular means happened in 1964. Tülay German’s Burçak Tarlası which was arranged by Doruk Onatkut was the first recognized birth of Anatolian Pop in jazz. In this song Ruhi Su played bağlama. German’s appearance was a revolution in the night club era of İstanbul at that time.
The movement was irresistible. Despite the same audience and performers were too shy not only to perform with a Turkish instrument but also to sing in Turkish, this time they were adopting the new values of the revolutionary movement and mainstreaming was too fast. With the wave of Golden Microphone Music Contest which was organized by Hürriyet Newspaper, the orchestras whose mission is to entertain in clubs and the groups founded by the youth became rivals to make the best blend in folk orchestration. In 1965, Yıldırım Gürses achieved the prize with his harmonized Classical Turkish Music Orchestra, in 1966 a guitar surf group called Siluetler (Silhouettes) has won the prize with energetic instrumental arrangement of a Southeastern Folk song Lorke Lorke. In 1967 Mavi Çocuklar was the winner with Develi Daylar and in 1968 a dance music orchestra whose mission was to entertain the engineers and other technical staff in Turkish Petroleum Plants in Batman where is a relatively depraved city in a depraved region, won the first prize with jazzy arrangement of a folk song: Meşelidir Enginde Dağlar.
The other rivals would lead the direction of music more than the prize winners. Although in 1965 Mavi Işıklar came in second, they put their signature in the underground and beat era of Turkey during the sixties. In 1967 Contest, Cem Karaca introduced his folk inspired composition from the poem of Aşık Emrah with his band Apaşlar (Apaches) and became one of the founder fathers of Turkish Native Rock. In 1968 the third coming group Moğollar became the name father of Anatolian Pop with their Turkish and western instrument blend where bağlama is played like guitar and organ played like zurna (Turkish breathe instrument). The second coming group was a beat funk group called Haramiler and the forth coming was the famous Erkin Koray the founder of Turkish east & west psychedelic music.
As we have summarized, Turkish native rock music was built on a unique character at the first steps of its formation. Erkin Koray had a pure beat and rockn’roll background and later on formed a musical ecole of psychedelic music blending folk, classical Turkish, Indian, Lebanese music and free works (or arabesque for some researchers). Barış Manço, beginning with the same background, formed his music on rock, pop and sometimes prog and blended it with folk and sometimes Classical Turkish Music, and he didn’t hesitate on using arabesque strings in many of his tracks. Moğollar, especially in Murat Ses (organist) period , was like an experiment tube for Anatolian Pop. Murat Ses had an academic approach in group’s music and widely used ıklığ, bağlama, cura, wood spoons, tambur (played with a bow), argun in his arrangements. Cem Karaca was a theatrical figure singing like a story teller. Although he used ıklığ, bağlama etc. in his groups and recordings, his summit was a progressive rock group named Dervişan.
Song writers like Fikret Kızılok and Hümeyra were much like troubadours than group music personas, while Edip Akbayram represented the Southeastern folk vocal with full integration of rock sound.
Believing in a diversity in one for music, the musical synergy of Turkey was something like what Erkin Koray described “A Kind of Electricity Appeared in Outer Space.”