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KIT SEBASTIAN

Kit Sebastian

Melodi

    ‘Melodi’ is the second album from captivating duo Kit Sebastian (aka Kit Martin and Merve Erdem). Those familiar with the band's cult classic 2019 debut record 'Mantra Moderne' will instantly recognise their unique sound that blurs boundaries of world music, jazz and psychedelia. Not to be content replicating the same album, sonically the feel of ‘Melodi’ is a maturation. It is more diverse and provides glimpses into many different worlds from the Italian Riviera to the mountains of the Caucasus, the beaches of Bahia to the city streets of Istanbul and Paris. This joyous merging of soundscapes evokes a borderless planet with music as an international language, belonging everywhere and nowhere.

    ‘Melodi’ is imbued with Kit Sebastian's love of vintage records and world cinema, but it is not a retro homage. It celebrates its influences but is very much a modern record, being simultaneously brand new and retro. This is a credit to the duo's craft as musicians and songwriters, presenting their influences as a circular interaction between the present and the past rather than a linear one.

    The music was written during the first UK lockdown and recorded that summer, a time of opening up that only briefly existed. In a world with a slower pace than before the Covid crisis, the band were able to spend more time experimenting in the studio. The album’s range of instrumentation has expanded from the previous record to include zithers, harpsichords, congas, bongos, bulbul tarang, and a mock-up choir on top of the synthesizers, balalaikas, organs, and saxophones. Session musicians and friends were also booked to introduce trumpet and string sections giving the album an added depth and orchestral texture. Despite the added complexity, the album was recorded using the same techniques employed for the previous album with various tape machines, bouncing back between cassette and ¼” tape for practicality and sonic abstraction. To pierce through this abstraction, the vocals are intentionally more expressive. Merve took cues from the Turkish singers of her youth, adding a slightly more melancholic, darker and more reflective style than 'Mantra Moderne’. Rooted in observations from everyday life, they speak often about the worlds and thoughts that arise from the end of the night.

    Like with many of the best albums, the record seems over all too soon and has you instantly wanting to play it again. On each listen you decide on a track that you think is your favourite from the album only for it to be replaced with a different one on the next listen. The songs and production have hidden depths that seem to evolve and morph the more you devour them. Moments of pure pop, moments to fall in love, moments to contemplate. This journey is rich in musical vitamins and nourishment, but like all the best things still leaves you wanting more.

    Kit Sebastian

    Ennui / Abandoned

      Kit Sebastian are back with a special stand-alone alone 7” release that presents an appetising taster of what is to follow from their much-anticipated second album. After losing themselves in the magic of the French countryside to record, the band have delivered two gems that we initially thought were a soup on of the said new album. In fact, though recorded during the same sessions, they felt these tracks were best served up as an aperitif to the album.

      Francis Lai, Vladimir Cosma, Fikret K z lok, Jane Birkin, and Selda Bacan all served as inspirations during the recording sessions. Though their idols can be heard in ‘Ennui’ & ‘Abandoned’, the fusion of Anatolian Psychedelia, Brazilian Tropicalia, 60’s European pop and psych-folk vibes results in a sound that is drenched in their unique signature style and can only come from Kit Sebastian. The beautiful, heartfelt, longing vocals on both ‘Ennui’ & ‘Abandoned’’, makes it hard for the listener to resist falling in love with the world of Kit Sebastian, and they leave the heart longing even more for their next long player to drop.

      TRACK LISTING

      Ennui
      Abandoned

      Kit Sebastian

      Remix 12"

        This remix 12" features three unique reworks of Kit Sebastian tracks. Each of the producers featured in this package created their own interpretation of the ‘lo-fi-hi-fi’ originals and have taken the duo’s sound into bold new directions. When it came to choosing who should remix Kit Sebastian, Natureboy Flako (Flako / Dario Rojo Guerra) was a producer at the top of the list. Keeping true to the original, whilst leaving his own stamp on the track, his mix adds breakbeat drums and middle-Eastern guitar riffs that transform the track into a more cinematic piece. It sounds like the music from an exotica dive-bar scene in a David Lynch film - which of course, is a very good thing. Producer and DJ Baris K, who was behind the awesome ‘Istanbul 70’ series (re-edits of classic Turkish gems), takes ‘Durma’ in a very different direction. Totally reconstructing the track, his remix has flipped the original and totally run wild. The results are an epic left-field electronic workout. By bringing the spoken-word vocals to the forefront and giving the track a darker industrial vibe, it wouldn’t sound out of place bouncing around the walls of a Berlin basement club at 5am on a Sunday morning. The pairing of Kit Sebastian and Halal Cool J grew after DJing together at the alternative Great Escape party at the Mr Bongo HQ in May 2019. They share a love for dusty old psychedelic Turkish records. Halal Cool J (aka Aly Jamal / Don Leisure) has released records on First World and is a co-member of Darkhouse Family with Earl Jeffers. For his interpretation he has delivered a mix-tape-collage with a hip-hop aesthetic, and rather than focusing on remixing a specific song, he has cut and paste his favourite elements of tracks taken off the band’s ‘Mantra Moderne’ album.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Mine says: Featuring a dreamy stomper courtesy of Natureboy Flako, a 10-minute dub beast by the one and only Baris K and, my personal fave, an uber groovy medley by Halal Cool J. More of that please!

        TRACK LISTING

        Durma (Baris K Dub)
        Senden Baska (Natureboy Flako Remix)
        Kit Sebastian Vs Halal Cool J

        ‘Mantra Moderne’ is a stunning, contemporary masterpiece that fuses Anatolian Psychedelia, Brazilian Tropicalia, 60’s European pop and American jazz. A must for fans of Khruangbin, Portishead, Arthur Verocai, Goat, Caetano Veloso, Tom Ze, Os Mutantes, Cortex and co. The duo is formed of Kit Martin, who lives between London and France and plays all instruments on the album, and Merve Erdem, vocalist and multi-disciplinary artist from Istanbul, now based in London. This is their debut album.

        The album explores universal themes such as love, loss, decay, language and ideology, mixing three different languages: English, Turkish and French. Written and recorded by the duo - Kit composed all the songs and Merve wrote the lyrics - in rural France during 2018, each song was completed within a 12- hour window, pawning contemplation for spontaneity.

        Dubbed by Kit and Merve as ‘lo-fi-hi-fi’ in reference to the high-end tube equipment that helped it find its way to 8-track cassette tape. The style owes its sound to narrow tape width, valve distortion, spring reverb, the mixture of high end gear with lo-fi equipment as well as a disregard to the norms of hi-fi studio techniques. All instruments were analogue and no samples were used. The instruments that are used range from tablas to darbukas, balalaikas to ouds, MS20 synths to Farfisa organs and a lot of cuica. The mixing techniques were done on-the-fly, tracking immediately to tape: compression, EQ, delay and reverb;meaning mixing could not be revisited!

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Barry says: Kit Sebastian's 'Mantra Moderne' is a brilliantly oddball juxtaposition of exotica, international psychedelia and tropical beach vibes, brought together into a swinging haze of lysergic guitar strums and staggering percussion.

        TRACK LISTING

        Senden Baska
        Mantra Moderne
        Tyranny 20
        Pangea 
        Kuytu
        Yanimda Kal
        Y R D M B Y D M R D M
        With A Sense Of Grace
        Durma

        Kit Sebastian

        Mantra Moderne / Kyutu

        ‘Mantra Moderne’ is a stunning, contemporary masterpiece that fuses Anatolian Psychedelia, Brazilian Tropicalia, 60’s European pop and American jazz. A must for fans of Khruangbin, Portishead, Arthur Verocai, Goat, Caetano Veloso, Tom Ze, Os Mutantes, Cortex and co. The duo is formed of Kit Martin, who lives between London and France and plays all instruments on the album, and Merve Erdem, vocalist and multi-disciplinary artist from Istanbul, now based in London. This is the debut single from their debut album.

        Dubbed by Kit and Merve as ‘lo-fi-hi-fi’ in reference to the high-end tube equipment that helped it find its way to 8-track cassette tape. The style owes its sound to narrow tape width, valve distortion, spring reverb, the mixture of high end gear with lo-fi equipment as well as a disregard to the norms of hi-fi studio techniques. All instruments were analogue and no samples were used. The instruments that are used range from tablas to darbukas, balalaikas to ouds, MS20 synths to Farfisa organs and a lot of cuica. The mixing techniques were done on-the-fly, tracking immediately to tape: compression, EQ, delay and reverb; meaning mixing could not be revisited!

        Mantra Moderne was hugely influenced by Italian library soundtracks. The first backwards sound that occurs at 0.26 was an earlier recording of the track that was meant to have been recorded completely over, an example of the amount of mistakes that were present in the recording process that became desirable!

        Kuytu is strongly influenced by Turkish Anatolian Rock and Azeri Mugham folk but also the works of someone very important to Kit and Merv, Vagif Mustafazadeh. The lyrics, written in Turkish are about a mysterious figure whose presence brings a heavenly love and joy into the poet’s life. However, his unexpected disappearance leaves a black sorrow in her heart.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Mine says: A very unique and somewhat irresistible blend of sounds, combining slow grooving bass lines, charming vocals and a good portion of jazz into a psychedelic haze. Delightful!

        TRACK LISTING

        Mantra Moderne
        Kyutu


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