180 gram black vinyl in gatefold sleeve with english lyrics
Turkish underground rock misfit Erbatur Çavuşoğlu’s first solo album is finally here: an intimate collection of previously unreleased songs and new versions, with fresh arrangements by Big Daddy Mugglestone. The result is like Iron & Wine being fronted by a Taksim Square street poet, or a Turkish Crazy Horse.
Erbatur’s wavering falsetto delivers heartfelt and tender songwriting, accentuated by an eclectic band of old and new Berlin friends. A must for fans of Indie Americana and Turkish Psychedelic Folk, this is a warm and haunting departure from his previous work with Zardanadam, deeply personal but with open arms.
Liner Notes (by BDM)
Erbatur got his first guitar from his brother Cihan when he was 14. His brother wanted to be a musician as well, but it was clear already when Erbatur was 10 years old and made him a tape of a Capella Beatles covers (mimicking the English without any understanding of what it meant), where the musical talent in the family resided. By age 15, he was already selling out 500-seat concerts (sometimes twice a day!) in his hometown of Konya, Turkey, playing mainly covers. Every summer he travelled with his family to the beachside community of Didim, where he met his first and only guitar teacher Oğuz Öz and also his first love. To woo her, he would sing to her at the beach. This became a nightly ritual and soon others joined in (including his guitar teacher) drinking and playing music by firelight until morning came. During this time, he started a few different bands like Musical Death, Tezekli Serzeniş (in Konya) and also the Didim Kings. He was frequently appearing on the radio and became a bit of a local celebrity. Many of the songs on this record are from or inspired by this time in Erbatur’s life.
Unfortunately, at age 18 Erbatur lost his love and musical muse in a tragic accident. He quit playing the guitar and singing for three years. After finishing university, his friends and family finally convinced him to start singing again and he reluctantly began to perform. Though skeptical about the record industry in Turkey “only wanting to make more Tarkans” he went to auditions, but always felt used or out of place. Once again, his brother Cihan stepped in, and bought him a ticket to London, saying he would have more success with an international audience. There, he soon began to front the house band “Railway Folks” at a local pub, and their renown almost lead to a spot in the Eurovision contest. But fate once again stepped in, and Erbatur was forced to return to Turkey due to a knee injury.
Back in Turkey, Erbatur was determined to find a studio and label to put out his songs, though for different financial and creative reasons, nothing every came into fruition. His frustration with the industry led him into academia, where he became a professor of Urban Planning. In 2001, he founded Zardanadam with some new and old friends. They recorded six albums and played concerts and festivals with many of his heroes. Some of the songs here are also part of the Zardanadam repertoire, though with the heavier rock/punk feel that they are known for.
In 2016, Erbatur and his family left for Berlin, and he soon started to play in Zampanò with Big Daddy Mugglestone, Brian Kiel and Sepideh Safiaryan. He proposed a couple of his earlier songs for the band, and Mugglestone was immediately enamored. He proposed to Erbatur to record them and put them out as a single. The result was the 7” Kaçacağım/Seyyah on Rumi Sounds. The experience and response were so positive that Erbatur and Mugglestone decided to make a full-length album, showcasing the early compositions from this Didim period, but also including some later pieces. And thanks to all the wonderful work of the musicians and technicians, we present to you the first Erbatur solo record, long overdue, but never too late.
This albums production is supported by the Initiative Musik gGmbH with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media.