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BONGO JOE

Following in the footsteps of psych-funk pioneers Baris Manço, Selda Bağcan and Erkin Koray, Dutch group Altin Gün (‘Golden Day’) kick open the doors of perception with a hefty set of frazzled nuggets for Bongo Joe. 
On their debut album "On", the band show what happens when you trace a line between Turkish folk songs which were passed on from generation to generation on the one hand and a dirty blend of funk rhythms, wah-wah guitars and analogue organs on the other. The Amsterdammers who come from various backgrounds (Turkish but also Indonesian and Dutch) comfortably create their work in the adventurous no-man’s land that exists between these two worlds. Sticking a saz into the mains socket, our tripped out troubadours harness the far out sounds of mid seventies Turkey, which even today sounds rich, danceable and (alright then!) heavily mind bending.
Though Manço, Bağcan and Koray have all influenced Altin Gün, but their foremost inspiration is Neşet Ertaş, a Turkish folk musician whose musical legacy is invaluable. Many of the songs he wrote have become standards in Turkey, national treasures which are cherished up until the present day. Altin Gün retain the lyrical and thematic structure of Ertaş’s songs, though they often alter their time signatures and add fuzzy bass sounds, sweltering organ sounds and raw saz riffs. Ertaş wrote the majority of the songs on the album even if these are hardly recognisable after all the work Altin Gün have done on them. The songs have universal themes such as love, death, desire and destiny. It is touching music that makes you want to move and massages your soul all at once. Music that sounds familiar but different. Music that’s deeply emotional even for someone who doesn’t speak a word of Turkish.
Let Altin Gün open that door for you and get ready to indulge in their fresh and beautiful sound.

Switzerland's Bongo Joe continue to shun extravagant PR strategies and drawn-out, multi-volume campaigns for a succinct and widescreen picture of underappreciated musical microcosms. The fruitful synth wave and post-punk scene of Spain is next to be inspected. Specifically from 1980-86, "La Contra Ola" covers the striking DIY diversity that swept the country during this time. A blossoming time of creativity, with new technologies and digital instruments striking their mark across moods ranging from paranoid and claustrophobic to sleazy, sexy and the darn right ridiculous. If you've enjoyed some of the Dark Entries output and the minimal wave scene of San Fran, then you need to move your attention over to these European pioneers. Much like the Italian scene, there's obviously SO much to discover here, and even just scratching the surface of some of the bands mentioned reveals a wormhole of digging and further exploration required. Basically, if you like your circuits scorched and your mind bent and the impending sense of society's collapse makes you want to ruin machines, then this is surely the compilation for you! 5 stars!

The Bongo Joe onslaught continues with Damily's "Very Aomby", a set of new, furiously exhilarating Tsapiky music from the south-west of Madagascar, beside the Mozambique Channel. A rough, electric, rural take on the classic Congolese, Kenyan and Mozambican urban dancefloor styles of the 60s and 70s — hyper-fast interplay between pumping bass and clattering drums, overlaid with cranked-up high-life guitar — nourished with the musical traditions of local villages, especially in the singing and other passages of acoustic respite. Ace.


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