Releases

Gaye Su Akyol • Yort Savul: İSYAN MANİFESTOSU!

Release Date: 30/10/2020
Format: DL
Cat-No: GBDL 104

1. İsyan Manifestosu (4:46)
2. Bittim Ama Tamamlanmadım (5:19)
3. Şerefe (5:14)

Growing up in cosmopolitan Istanbul and listening to Anatolian music icon Selda Bağcan and Kurt Cobain in equal measure, singer/songwriter/producer Gaye Su Akyol’s thrilling combination of Turkish psych and universal rock and roll has in a short span of time made her a force to reckon with on the global music scene.

Two years after the release of her wildly acclaimed third album “İstikrarlı Hayal Hakikattir,” Gaye returns with a powerful EP and focus single (both out on October 30th). Gaye’s last few years have been a whirlwind of activity filled with high profile festival appearances (Roskilde, WOMAD, Le Guess Who?), critical raves from global taste-makers like Pitchfork and The Wire, feature profiles in The Guardian and The New York Times, and the coveted BEST ARTIST Award from Songlines in 2019. She’s also received strong support from major radio broadcasters (BBC, FIP, WDR Cosmo, KEXP etc.).

“Yort Savul: İSYAN MANİFESTOSU! (Get Out of the Way: REBELLION MANIFESTO!)” contains three trailblazing and stylistically diverse new songs. The composition, lyrics and production on the album all belong to “GSA” herself and in that sense, it is a first for her. Gaye has been the co-producer of her past albums, but this EP is her first shot as a full-time producer and thus marks a new threshold in her musical career. It is also a bearer of good news and promise for her upcoming album due out in the spring of 2021.

The hooky, amped-up single “İSYAN MANİFESTOSU (REBELLION MANIFESTO) is possibly her most rock and roll moment yet. It is a song that defends and celebrates the liberating nature of rebellious acts, at a time, when the political climate in the world disregards individualization and views the bulk of society as detrimental masses that need to be controlled. This is a timeless musical journey that melds the firm and sporadically melting infrastructure of 70’s psychedelia, acid rock and progressive music with Anatolian music, classical Turkish music scales and vocal techniques and beats that bear a futuristic touch. In other words: forward-looking and uncompromised Gaye Su Akyol.

 

 

Gaye Su Akyol İstikrarlı Hayal Hakikattir

Release Date: 26/10/2018
Format: CD/LP+DL/DL
Cat-No: GBCD/LP 062

1. İstikrarlı Hayal Hakikattir (5:22)
2. Bağrımızda Taş (4:00)
3. Laziko (4:05)
4. Gölgenle Bir Başıma (5:08)
5. Meftunum Sana (4:21)
6. Şahmeran (3:53)
7. Bir Yaralı Kuştum (5:12)
8. Hemşerim Memleket Nire (5:00)
9. Boşluk Ve Sonsuzluk (1:41)
10. Halimiz İtten Beter (4:28)

“Su Akyol’s voice is light but elegant, and her songs are by turns urgent, sultry and romantic and politically barbed. The new sound of Istanbul.”
–The Observer

“The Turkish singer Gaye Su Akyol has emerged at the fore of her country’s revitalized music scene… mixes Turkish modes and scales with surf rock, and psychedelia.”
–Pitchfork

With the release of her first international album “Hologram Ĭmparatorluğu” (2016), Gaye Su Akyol established herself as one of Turkey’s most compelling young voices and most exhilarating sonic explorers. Her work as a singer-songwriter, producer and audio/visual conceptualist, simultaneously navigates the storied past, the hyper-connected present and the unscripted future.

Growing up in cosmopolitan Istanbul listening to Anatolian music icon Selda Bağcan and Kurt Cobain in equal measure, Akyol skipped right over the tired Oriental/Occidental paradigmatic clichés. Gaye’s music was global in concept and local in spirit and nuance right from the very beginning.

Following the widespread critical acclaim for “Hologram Ĭmparatorluğu” Gaye and her sublime band spent 18 months travelling up and down Turkey, Europe and the Middle and Far East sharing with audiences a vibrant mix of raki laced traditional balladry, futurist surf and post-punk opposition. The new album, produced by her and guitarist Ali Güçlü Şimşek, is arguably more immediate and visceral than the first two, reflecting her and the band’s growing reputation as a powerful live act.

“Istikrarlı Hayal Hakikattir,” which translates as “Consistent Fantasy is Reality,” is a deeply poetic album; an album of personalized politics, an album that digs into the heart our contentious, inexplicable contemporary experience. Never blinking. Always dreaming. Never giving in. Never giving up.

Play that song, play the vinyl, Let the storm turn around.
Istikrarlı Hayal Hakikattir (Consistent Fantasy Is Reality): An artist statement

“Consistent Fantasy is Reality” is the third album in my discography. Just like the previous two it is a completely independent and liberated album that embraces a “DIY” philosophy, and a revolutionary album which no capitalist or top-down imposed obligations can restrain or contaminate.

Like my second album it is published by our own record company in Turkey and by Glitterbeat worldwide.

In terms of its philosophy, lyrics, music and motto, this album is the dream of pure freedom, of showing the courage to be yourself, of looking at the culture I was born into without alienation, a “dreaming practice” propounded into a country and world that is increasingly turning inward and becoming a conservatized prison.

Musically the album combines influences from the Anatolian Pop/Anatolian Rock genre that emerged in Turkey during the 60s and the 70s with Turkish classical music scales and vocal aesthetics, and various subgenres of Rock, bringing together strong ballads, Turkish folk tunes, the conventional guitar-bass-drums trio and percussions, joined by violin, oud, cumbush, and – as new additions that the previous albums did not have – baglama (Turkish native instrument), electronic beats and wind instruments like saxophone and trumpet, together making up a very rich instrumental palette.

With this album I pursued new sounds in the deep waters of this geography, dug up the manifestation of my experiences, all the music, the people, the pain, the dreams and countries I have heard and was touched by, followed the footsteps of a personal archeology and tried to add my lost territories to these. As in my previous albums I wrote all the music and lyrics, except for one song. I was involved in all stages of production, arrangement and recording as co-producer, and in the visual language and graphics of the album as the art director. Although I did not try to emphasize this aspect in regards to my previous albums, I came to be fully convinced that the existence and power of women needs to be specifically pointed out in a world that is becoming almost caricaturized with masculine displays of power, where everyone except whoever is holding power is deemed invisible. As a woman born and raised in Turkey, who makes her own music, who created a playground outside the masculine system by founding her own record company, who participates in every stage of this work from creation to production in a masculine dominated geography and an ever conservatized world, I think it is necessary to make these stories of “consistent dreaming” visible and I hope to inspire other women and people who are producing and claiming their own dreams. In this sense this is an extremely feminist, revolutionary and idealist album.

About the name and the content of the album; there are two important facts, the first one being the physical reality:
In a difficult country like Turkey, bordering the Middle East, Europe and Russia, in an atmosphere that is increasingly conservative and in a world that contributes to this darkness with its own chaos and power struggles, I believe that we need to create a counter reality in order to challenge organized evil and the horrible reality it creates, and the strongest option here is “consistent dreaming”.

And the other fact is a personal awakening:
The materialist world view attributes supreme meanings and values to the confirmable, accumulated world that it calls “real,” while almost ignoring the enormous power, amazing nature and value of dreams. My superpower as a child was dreaming (almost like the other children) and although I nearly forgot it for a while, I remembered my real power eventually. There is nothing as spectacular and beautiful as a free mind… As soon as I realized that the only difference between dreams and reality was “consistency” in my mind, the universe became a better place. This is where this album is coming from.

On the cover of the album, there is a “fantasy world” that promises whatever you fantasize constantly becomes your reality. We designed a “non-existent creature in any culture” with a majestic, glittered body and with a holy light on its head that symbolizes that the dreams of the individual are one’s holy key to open the new chapters in life.

On the back of the cover there is an ancient motif called “eli belinde” from Anatolian culture.
Eli belinde (Turkish for “hands on hips”) is a motif of a hands-on-hips female figure. It is widely used on kilims. It is a “matriarchal symbol” that symbolizes feminine power, wealth, fertility, good fortune, happiness…etc. But in this case, the reasons to put it on the back cover are the feminine power she carries and the polysemous structure of the word “fertilization” which I take to mean “the fertility of a free mind and fruitfulness of dreaming.”

We are masses moving within a huge chaos. We are the disaster seeds of a cultural collapse which infiltrates the human mind and inhibits dreams. In an age when we are forced to forget dreaming, as societies we become weak signals of the barren mind. We are descendants of unqualified herds that follow grunts. We are the miserable, standardized, un-rebellious and unfounded robots of the new world.

What could be the one thing that could separate us from this herd, these masses, these crises of ambition ground down by the things we memorize?

This album is in search of the great crisis of existence, the assorted peculiarities that you are subjected to when you refuse to get used to and are alienated by things such as war, or death, a sudden separation forever from a loved one, dreams for instance, the nature of species, what we look for in this weird planet, what we are not able to find, what we call real and what we turn down as dreams.

Dreams keep you awake and it is time to wake up!

— Gaye Su Akyol

Gaye Su Akyol: vocals, percussions, electronics
Ali Güçlü Şimşek: electric & acoustic guitar, back vocal
Görkem Karabudak: bass & acoustic guitar, keyboard, electronics, back vocal
Ediz Hafızoğlu: drums

with
İlhan Erşahin: saxophone
Barlas Tan Özemek: classical guitar (şahmeran)
Ahmet Ayzit: violin, oud, electro saz, cumbush
Ismail Darıcı: percussions
Oğuz Can Bilgin: trumpet

Producers: Ali Güçlü Şimşek, Gaye Su Akyol, GK
Recorded & mixed in Istanbul at: Hayyam Stüdyoları Dunganga Ev Stüdyosu kayıt

https://www.facebook.com/Gaye-Su-Akyol-239638012909465/
https://twitter.com/gayesuakyol

 

Gaye Su Akyol Hologram Ĭmparatorluğu

Release Date: 11/11/2016
Format: CD/LP+DL/DL
Cat-No: GBCD/LP 040

1 Hologram
2 Akil olmayinca
3 Kendimin efendisiyim ben
4 Fantastiktir bahti yarimin
5 Kendimden kaçmaktan
6 Dünya kaleska
7 Eski tüfek
8 Uzat saçini Istanbul
9 Nargile
10 Anlasana sana aşiğim
11 Mona Lisa
12 Berduş

 

Istanbul has a deep, layered history. From its beginnings as a fishing village to one of the pillars of the Roman world. The final stop on the Silk Road. The centre of the Ottoman Empire as the Turks spread their huge net across the Middle East. Across the centuries the city drew in cultures and blended them. Growing up there, singer-songwriter Gaye Su Akyol breathed all that in every day, along with her family’s ancient roots in Anatolia. Those rich traditions combine to form part of the sound she’s developed on her album Hologram Ĭmparatorluğu (Hologram Empire), where sultry Turkish melodies twine around spiky, twanging guitars and insistent rhythms.

“It’s a cliché, but the city is a bridge that combines cultures, and that’s very true in music, especially the Greek influence,” Akyol explains. “When I was young, we visited Anatolia every year. I had the chance to observe and realise the different perspectives and practices of cultures. That made me feel closer to the diversity of Anatolian civilisation.”

But that, and the old music on Turkish Radio Television that she internalized, were only parts of the mix that helped shape her sound. She was constantly seeking out the new and the different, something to set off sparks in her emotions.

“When I heard Nirvana’s Nevermind for the first time, my mind blew up. I discovered other Seattle bands, then people like Nick Cave, Joy Division, Sonic Youth, and Einstürzende Neubaten. A bit later I heard Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit.” The dark, mellow mood of the music, the use of the instruments and the vocal technique of Grace Slick greatly inspired me and led me into psychedelia and then surf bands. What they all did seemed to fit with older Turkish singers I loved like Selda Bağcan and Müzeyyen Senar.”

By then Akyol was already part of a new underground music scene that had sprung up in Istanbul. A military coup in the 1980s led to a repression of rock across the country. After a decade the government’s grip was beginning to loosen, and Akyol became part of the new wave of music, exploring the mix of old Turkish music and rock that she heard in her head.

“Your own culture is important; your parents and grandparents give it to you,” she notes. “No culture is better than any other. I studied as an anthropologist; I know that. So I began finding my culture and mixing it, balancing the traditional and modern elements in my music. My art, my sound. People focus so much on the technical part, but you have to look inside to find out what you want to do. You have to say something new. I want to change the world forever.”

The daughter of acclaimed Turkish painter Muzaffer Akyol, Akyol earned a degree in social anthropology and worked as an artist before creating music took over. She experimented, feeling her way towards her vision. And when she met the band Bubituzak, something clicked. They understood what she was doing; they became part of her art. Together they recorded her debut, Develerle Yaşıyorum, in 2013, following it with acclaimed, masked performances in Turkey and at festivals across Europe.

“I love masks,” Akyol laughs. “They bring mystery and fun, flexibility and a psychedelic aesthetic. Since Bubituzak are already a band, we want to use masks to cover their faces in a mysterious and symbolic way.”

That first disc seeded the ground. The new album, Hologram Ĭmparatorluğu, bears the full fruit of the partnership. It digs deeper, fired with a seductive, shadowy passion. The thick swirl of Oriental strings on “Hologram” plunges towards the heated boil of “Fantastikir Bahti Yarimin.” The dark lullaby of “Dünya Kaleska” weaves a haunted post-punk spell before building to the album’s climax “Berduş,” where spaghetti western guitar cracks over a propulsive rhythm and a sensuous Anatolian melody. The sound is cinematic and gorgeous and Gaye’s luminous voice brilliantly orchestrates these shifting moods.

Echoing the bittersweet tendrils of Turkey’s faded past and dramatic present, her lyrics are bold and deeply personal. At times she embraces the nocturnal and romantic: “I feel immortal by your side/As if the world will be safe/If I drink another double raki.” In other instances, she navigates the surreal and the magically real: “Look at me/I’ve become a butterfly/Come and find me/Black holes are everywhere.” And in several songs she takes a sharp look at the stark realities of Turkey’s political moment: “You sold us out well! /You have a palace but/It’s just empty four walls /Possessions mangle mortals.” It is no surprise that she cites Turkish writers like Melih Cevdet Anday and Sabahattin Ali and the English poet William Blake as crucial artistic influences.

Her music, her art.

“I look for passion in music, lyrics, feelings, people, conversations. There can be no limbo, in between,” Akyol insists. “Passion talks with its very self-assured way to change something or convince someone. I believe we live in a hologram and art is my universe, so I organise the galaxies, planets, solar systems.”

And in Gaye Su Akyol’s universe, the past becomes folded into the present and launched into the future. Hologram Ĭmparatorluğu is heady, powerfully intoxicating and beautifully dangerous.

“Your art is something you have to find yourself,” Akyol says. “I’m looking inside my consciousness to my culture. I love rock but there are hidden things in my subconscious. Call it Turkish art rock if you like.”

Past, present, future.

Her music, her art.

https://www.facebook.com/Gaye-Su-Akyol-239638012909465/
https://twitter.com/gayesuakyol

Gaye Su Akyol

 

“Su Akyol’s voice is light but elegant, and her songs are by turns urgent, sultry and romantic and politically barbed. The new sound of Istanbul.”
–The Observer

“The Turkish singer Gaye Su Akyol has emerged at the fore of her country’s revitalized music scene… mixes Turkish modes and scales with surf rock, and psychedelia.”
–Pitchfork

With the release of her first international album “Hologram Ĭmparatorluğu” (2016), Gaye Su Akyol established herself as one of Turkey’s most compelling young voices and most exhilarating sonic explorers. Her work as a singer-songwriter, producer and audio/visual conceptualist, simultaneously navigates the storied past, the hyper-connected present and the unscripted future.

Growing up in cosmopolitan Istanbul listening to Anatolian music icon Selda Bağcan and Kurt Cobain in equal measure, Akyol skipped right over the tired Oriental/Occidental paradigmatic clichés. Gaye’s music was global in concept and local in spirit and nuance right from the very beginning.

Following the widespread critical acclaim for “Hologram Ĭmparatorluğu” Gaye and her sublime band spent 18 months travelling up and down Turkey, Europe and the Middle and Far East sharing with audiences a vibrant mix of raki laced traditional balladry, futurist surf and post-punk opposition. The new album, produced by her and guitarist Ali Güçlü Şimşek, is arguably more immediate and visceral than the first two, reflecting her and the band’s growing reputation as a powerful live act.

“Istikrarlı Hayal Hakikattir,” which translates as “Consistent Fantasy is Reality,” is a deeply poetic album; an album of personalized politics, an album that digs into the heart our contentious, inexplicable contemporary experience. Never blinking. Always dreaming. Never giving in. Never giving up.

Play that song, play the vinyl, Let the storm turn around.
Istikrarlı Hayal Hakikattir (Consistent Fantasy Is Reality): An artist statement

“Consistent Fantasy is Reality” is the third album in my discography. Just like the previous two it is a completely independent and liberated album that embraces a “DIY” philosophy, and a revolutionary album which no capitalist or top-down imposed obligations can restrain or contaminate.

Like my second album it is published by our own record company in Turkey and by Glitterbeat worldwide.

In terms of its philosophy, lyrics, music and motto, this album is the dream of pure freedom, of showing the courage to be yourself, of looking at the culture I was born into without alienation, a “dreaming practice” propounded into a country and world that is increasingly turning inward and becoming a conservatized prison.

Musically the album combines influences from the Anatolian Pop/Anatolian Rock genre that emerged in Turkey during the 60s and the 70s with Turkish classical music scales and vocal aesthetics, and various subgenres of Rock, bringing together strong ballads, Turkish folk tunes, the conventional guitar-bass-drums trio and percussions, joined by violin, oud, cumbush, and – as new additions that the previous albums did not have – baglama (Turkish native instrument), electronic beats and wind instruments like saxophone and trumpet, together making up a very rich instrumental palette.

With this album I pursued new sounds in the deep waters of this geography, dug up the manifestation of my experiences, all the music, the people, the pain, the dreams and countries I have heard and was touched by, followed the footsteps of a personal archeology and tried to add my lost territories to these. As in my previous albums I wrote all the music and lyrics, except for one song. I was involved in all stages of production, arrangement and recording as co-producer, and in the visual language and graphics of the album as the art director. Although I did not try to emphasize this aspect in regards to my previous albums, I came to be fully convinced that the existence and power of women needs to be specifically pointed out in a world that is becoming almost caricaturized with masculine displays of power, where everyone except whoever is holding power is deemed invisible. As a woman born and raised in Turkey, who makes her own music, who created a playground outside the masculine system by founding her own record company, who participates in every stage of this work from creation to production in a masculine dominated geography and an ever conservatized world, I think it is necessary to make these stories of “consistent dreaming” visible and I hope to inspire other women and people who are producing and claiming their own dreams. In this sense this is an extremely feminist, revolutionary and idealist album.

About the name and the content of the album; there are two important facts, the first one being the physical reality:
In a difficult country like Turkey, bordering the Middle East, Europe and Russia, in an atmosphere that is increasingly conservative and in a world that contributes to this darkness with its own chaos and power struggles, I believe that we need to create a counter reality in order to challenge organized evil and the horrible reality it creates, and the strongest option here is “consistent dreaming”.

And the other fact is a personal awakening:
The materialist world view attributes supreme meanings and values to the confirmable, accumulated world that it calls “real,” while almost ignoring the enormous power, amazing nature and value of dreams. My superpower as a child was dreaming (almost like the other children) and although I nearly forgot it for a while, I remembered my real power eventually. There is nothing as spectacular and beautiful as a free mind… As soon as I realized that the only difference between dreams and reality was “consistency” in my mind, the universe became a better place. This is where this album is coming from.

On the cover of the album, there is a “fantasy world” that promises whatever you fantasize constantly becomes your reality. We designed a “non-existent creature in any culture” with a majestic, glittered body and with a holy light on its head that symbolizes that the dreams of the individual are one’s holy key to open the new chapters in life.

On the back of the cover there is an ancient motif called “eli belinde” from Anatolian culture.
Eli belinde (Turkish for “hands on hips”) is a motif of a hands-on-hips female figure. It is widely used on kilims. It is a “matriarchal symbol” that symbolizes feminine power, wealth, fertility, good fortune, happiness…etc. But in this case, the reasons to put it on the back cover are the feminine power she carries and the polysemous structure of the word “fertilization” which I take to mean “the fertility of a free mind and fruitfulness of dreaming.”

We are masses moving within a huge chaos. We are the disaster seeds of a cultural collapse which infiltrates the human mind and inhibits dreams. In an age when we are forced to forget dreaming, as societies we become weak signals of the barren mind. We are descendants of unqualified herds that follow grunts. We are the miserable, standardized, un-rebellious and unfounded robots of the new world.

What could be the one thing that could separate us from this herd, these masses, these crises of ambition ground down by the things we memorize?

This album is in search of the great crisis of existence, the assorted peculiarities that you are subjected to when you refuse to get used to and are alienated by things such as war, or death, a sudden separation forever from a loved one, dreams for instance, the nature of species, what we look for in this weird planet, what we are not able to find, what we call real and what we turn down as dreams.

Dreams keep you awake and it is time to wake up!

— Gaye Su Akyol

Gaye Su Akyol: vocals, percussions, electronics
Ali Güçlü Şimşek: electric & acoustic guitar, back vocal
Görkem Karabudak: bass & acoustic guitar, keyboard, electronics, back vocal
Ediz Hafızoğlu: drums

with
İlhan Erşahin: saxophone
Barlas Tan Özemek: classical guitar (şahmeran)
Ahmet Ayzit: violin, oud, electro saz, cumbush
Ismail Darıcı: percussions
Oğuz Can Bilgin: trumpet

Producers: Ali Güçlü Şimşek, Gaye Su Akyol, GK
Recorded & mixed in Istanbul at: Hayyam Stüdyoları Dunganga Ev Stüdyosu kayıt

https://www.facebook.com/Gaye-Su-Akyol-239638012909465/
https://twitter.com/gayesuakyol