Words by the ever erudite Adam Turner.
The Sun Is Parallel was recorded in Berlin by Mehmet Aslan, a Swiss / Turkish DJ and producer, with the self-stated desire to make music with ‘a heartfelt search for universality.’ The eleven tracks on the album pursue that aim wherever he can find it- chunky, squiggly acid house, wide screen psychedelia, global grooves, and cosmic disco, can all be found within this, his debut, long-player. Folk and traditional styles, spliced with electronic/ club sounds and well-chosen vocal samples.
The opening track, Fountain, begins with the noise, the sounds of the city – lifts going up, maybe, or underground trains – reverberating and filtered, before bouncing into rhythm for a while, and then falling apart again. Domo follows, longer and more fully formed, an almost indie- dance drumbeat with synths snapping into focus, clanging, downstroke guitar chords, electronic bass, and a noodly topline. At any single point in Domo there seem to be several different ideas going on at once, but without the track ever feeling overloaded or cluttered.
If I Can Belong Anywhere glides in gently, long drones and FX. Slowly synths ascend while thumping drums ride in and out. The song slows right down, and bleeps surround the voice of James Baldwin saying, ‘What you’ve got to remember is that everyone you’re looking at is also looking at you.’ Bookended by the 303 attack of Rowndbass Acid, and the clattering Mediterranean funk of Tangerine, the album has a real sense of ebb and flow.
Tangerine has vocals by Spanish singer, Nino de Elche, a choppy guitar riff, and a strange flamenco tension. It’s followed by Tangerine Sun, the same groove and sun-baked instruments, but with the guitar turned up. The key change, drop out, and solo at three minutes lift the tune somewhere else altogether, before a gnarly acid line kicks in.
Percussion / ambient mood piece, There Is No Such Thing As Herkunft, references early `90s Assassin-era Orb and Banco de Gaia. Garden, featuring drumming and percussion from Valentina Magaletti (Vanishing Twin, Nicolas Jaar, Thurston Moore) is abstract soundtrack music. Private Soundscape has layers of rattling oil drums, a ringing racket of pots and pans. Over this R. Murray Schaeffer muses about the world, stating that we can ‘Improve it, or we can destroy it.’ As the track fades out the funk of Kakusui fades in, bringing the Middle East and electro together – robotic voices over hand drums.
The Sun Is Parallel closes as it started, with a short track – Everyone Is Also You, manipulated echo, static and bursts of wordless vocals, repeated and glitching before fading out completely in a wave of sound. The album’s title is a nod to the idea that we’re all together under the same sun, all part of a greater whole, and the music, a fusion of sounds and styles points this way very successfully too.
Mehmet Aslan’s The Sun Is Parallel is out now, on Planisphere Editorial.
You can find more pukka prose from Adam Turner over at his own brilliant blog, The Bagging Area.