It’s hard, sometimes, as a writer, not to resort to tired cliches such as ‘Turkish Delights’ or ‘Young Turks’ when reviewing bands from Anatolia, so I am going to steadfastly attempt to avoid such obvious turns of phrase and focus entirely upon the music. Let’s face it, that’s what I should be doing anyway.
It’s even harder, however, when you listen to the music, and it turns out that about 75 per cent of it sounds like Talk Talk covering Bryan Ferry‘s ‘Don’t Stop The Dance‘. When you get this maggot in your head though, it reinforces itself with every subsequent play. Not that this is much of a criticism – Talk Talk, after all, were an incredible band, and I always had a soft spot for that particular Ferry tune. But stretching it out to fill an entire album is a somewhat ambitious intention. Strangely though, it still works.
To be fair, there are occasions where Jakuzi throw off their comfortable trainers and replace them with fun steel-capped winkle-pickers instead, and this is most notable on ‘İstemezdim‘ (literally translated into English as ‘I Would Like‘), which is as poppy sounding as anything on Belle and Sebastian‘s ‘The Life Pursuit‘, and a welcome respite, at that point, from the darker atmospherics.
Where Jakuzi really shine though, is on uneasy, ominous sounding numbers like Hata Payi‘s finale, ‘Ne Teselli Ne Avuntu‘ (‘What Consolation, What Avuntu‘) which feels rather like you’re on a train, approaching a tunnel, when you notice some sinister looking people giving you knowing glances, making you feel very uncomfortable indeed. I mean, for all I know, he might be talking about how much he loves puppies and wants to dance with everybody he meets, but Turkish not being my native tongue, for me, the whole thing has an ambience that recalls the very first scene in the cult modern tv classic Mr. Robot.
So overall, it’s actually a most invigorating listen, and you shouldn’t pay too much heed to my earlier assertions about Ferry, Hollis et al – I mean, there are other reference points like Lea Porcelain that could just as easily be levelled at Jakuzi, but none of that matters really. What counts is the end result, and these young Turks have pulled off a real delight here. Aw balls, sorry.
Hata Payi is out now on City Slang.