Zel Zele is back with a stomper of a DIY 80’s solo album by Turkish bassist Bahtiyar Taş. Arabesque melodies meet odd fusion beats with humorous lyricism, cheeky use of synthesizers and a free approach to arrangement; Acaip offers a cross genre trip into Taş’s ironic world.
The story in music is always real when it represents its moment of social and political ongoings, and right on that line of truth, Bahtiyar Taş is able to bring in a touch of dark humour. He thinks only then we are able to loosen up and laugh about life events, because why heavy feelings over absurd fun?
Bahtiyar’s story began when he moved to Istanbul as a teenager, wanting to make a living in music. Streets became his home as well as his stage for a few years before he embarked on a professional career playing the bass for respected classical musician Yıldırım Gürses. His musical career took a turning point when he joined the famous pop-folk band Beyaz Kelebekler in 1973 and toured all over the country, an experience that introduced him to the rock’n roll lifestyle. Upon leaving the band, he dived into the world of arabesque; a genre known for its heavy lyrics about hopeless love stories and troubles of everyday life.
In 1980 Bahtiyar moved to Germany to form a new band. Dreams were big but his Europe fantasy did not meet expectations. Unable to cope with living costs, Bahtiyar ended up moving to a run-down squat in Frankfurt. He soon became regretful about his decision to move to Germany but decided to stay when a military coup took place in Turkey in September 1980 ending the golden era of Turkish music scene.
What kept Bahtiyar sane during this dark period was music and his outstanding ability to not take life too seriously. From 1981 on he started exploring political and social irony through his bass guitar and synthesisers. Cheeky use of electronics, ironic lyrics, arabesque melodies, overall an outsider state tells his own story of the analog generation. Between 1981-88 he recorded hundreds of bedroom recordings, with no intention to make a hit.
Bahtiyar Taş is a one-man big band. His interest in multi instrumentation shows through him soloing a horn section on Haremlik, squeaky Middle Eastern synth solos in Karıştırma, rough beats in Hayde Bre with always his guitar on the background, as for some, rock’n roll comes easy. Istanbul is an electro-pop jam about Bahtiyar’s love and hate relationship with the chaotic city where he kids around with its gentrification. Hold tight, there will even be a techno beat in Ich Bin Ein Auslander (I am a foreigner), a track where Bahtiyar underlies being an outsider in Germany. Something for everyone but definitely for the unchained listener.
The artwork is a selection of his own works drawn in the same years. Curated by Grup Ses and lovingly restored from the cassettes, Zel Zele are thrilled to present this unique 7 tracks + 1 digital bonus out in fall 2022.