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Gaye Su Akyol

Tradition and modernity from a unique Turkish voice

This year at Oslo World, one of the foremost names in the alternative turkish music scene, Gaye Su Akyol, will play in Norway for the very first time.

In the sixties, when electric rock music broke through, the turkish music scene were early adapters. They might not have dominated western markets, but the extraordinary meeting between electrical music, garage attitude and the anatolian musical heritage made a lasting impression, both on bands and dj’s. Su Akyol, from Istanbul, is a proud descendant of this revolution.

Her second album, the hugely successful Hologram Ĭmparatorluğu (Hologram Empire) came out on the trailblazing, global oriented label Glitterbeat in 2016. On the album, old turkish instruments and melodies meet atmospheric rock subgenres like surf and psych. Fronted by Su Akyols huge, classic voice and backed up by a virtuoso orchestra, her music reveals that there still is a natural connection between the ancient urban history of Istanbul and recent alternative music revolutions in cities like New York.

From the sixties on, and especially in the eighties, alternative rock music meant a lot for turkish subcultures. Su Akyol carries that torch proudly. She also shows that individual freedom can live side by side with a deep love for musical traditions.

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