Audio Reviews
Selda
by Selda Bagcan
Finders Keepers (2006)
Selda
10 / 10
With drums that get down like classic James Brown and bass lines tending toward thick fuzz, it's no wonder beatheads are after this reissue. Throughout the album electronic squalls, squeals, and space age effects abound though these are perfectly balanced by warm crackles and gentle pops that bring to mind summer days discovering your parents' LPs. The collusion of Western psych and funk with traditional Turkish instruments is not soon forgotten. But what is most remarkable is the range and pathos of Selda's voice as she decries injustice and champions the people with palpable love that transcends the need for translation. Particularly on the standout 'Yaz Gazeteci Yaz' it feels as if Selda's voice is prying apart my heart pulp with gentle, strong fingers.

Just begging to be sampled by some forward-thinking hip hop producer are the slamming drums and wailing electric guitar of 'Ince Ince,' though it would be a shame to strip Selda's vocals off as she is at her impassioned and mournful best, reaching some of the highest and low, throatiest notes of the record. Another stellar intro is found in the screeching up-stroked guitar and heavy, plunking bass of 'Yaylalar', which could easily be mistaken for the funky post-punk of James Chance & The Contortions. Organic sounds nestle comfortably with the synthesizers on 'Yaz Gazeteci Yaz' and 'Gitme' providing two of the most rapturously danceable songs of the album. On the mellower tip, the blending of heavy bass, deftly-strummed acoustic guitar, and the occasional whispering slip of fingers on strings make for sublime moments on 'Mehmet Emmi'.

Selda is an album that I can't stop talking about yet fall short of words to describe the near-obsession it has kindled. Usually I find rating music by numbers unsatisfactory, but in this case I'll let the ten out of ten speak boldly for itself.
Posted by: R. Baker

Audio Reviews (February 14th, 2007)