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Kasirga - Huricane is deep music of a highly introspective bend with worldly flashes of lightning intersecting. It is performed on solo oud against symphonic drones and Flamenco-flavored folkloric dance interludes with full symphonic backing in the spirit of Vicente Amigo's Poeta. Soloist Çağrıhan Erkan elicits uncommonly ferocious dynamics from his bent-neck lute. This injects a highly charged tension into the atmosphere of even the most down-tempo improvisations that hover like Arabian aromas over ostinato string pedals.
It also makes his instrument sound far bigger than it really is, bass string a'buzzing, the rear pressures barely contained inside the pear-shaped body with the flower-petal circular opening and faceted back. Erkan doesn't sound like any other oud player I've heard before - not that I'm an expert. Rather, his instrument seems on steroids similar to how Renaud Garcia-Fons' bass is no ordinary bass.
Hearing Erkan's oud dancing its angular dance in front of a De Falla-styled symphony orchestra replete with castanets is rather the novel experience. Think Anatolian Nights. Its a quasi soundtrack due to its evocative flavors of walled gardens and court yards. The muscular, thick-toned meditations are filled with yearning and an urgency heightened by metallic tinges. Think Arabian Nights - a master musician hidden in the shadows playing for a loved one inside another man's house or openly yet privately for an appreciative sultan.
Kasirga - Huricane was sent to me by a Turkish reader together with nine other albums he thought I might like. My education in very good Turkish music is proceeding swimmingly at this rate and this album is one of the highlights of the current stack. How easy it will be to come by I don't know but the label's web link is provided above to get you started. This is potent stuff like Turkish coffee - just the right mixture of bitter and sweet. With an amazing afterglow. While some ethnic music from this region is an admittedly acquired taste especially for Westerners who are used to the tempered scale without any quarter notes -- or commas as I've heard 'em referred to -- Kasirga presents no hurdles of entry. Rather, it gets you to the heart of the matter in a bleeding hurry. And that's a very good thing! Highly recommended for one and all and mandatory for the lovers of the Arabian lute.