Known as one of the most underrated Turkish musicians of all time, Edip Akbayram was born in 1950 in Gaziantep (one of the biggest cities of Eastern Turkey). When he was a baby he developed “infantile paralysis” (or polio) and as a result he had to be carried everywhere until his family could afford a prosthesis after he left primary school.
Undeterred by his tough start in life, Edip Akbayram found his way into music and formed his first band, Siyah Orumcekler (“Black Spiders”) in Gaziantep when he was a teenager; releasing his first song Kendim Ettim, Kendim Buldum, while still at school in 1970! Music mapped out a promising path and soon he had won the Golden Mic Competition with a song he wrote, set to lyrics from Asik Veysel (a well-known Turkish poet) in 1972. Having gathered the attention of the public, his singles Aldirma Gonul and Eskiya Dunyaya Hukumdar Olmaz went gold, and he won numerous prizes.
In 1974 he formed his most famous band, Dostlar Orkestrasi (meaning “Orchestra of Friends”) and released his self-titled album that same year. A few years later he was silenced as a as a result of the political turmoil at the time and was banned by TRT (Turkish Radio and Television Corporation, which was the only television channel in Turkey until the 1990s). He was beaten by fanatics and threatened with murder many times and yet he still managed to record four albums in 1980s. It was not until mid-’90s, however, that he was rediscovered with his Turkuler Yanmaz album – with this album he continued his tradition as he used lyrics of valued Turkish poets.
His first two records were mainly traditional Turkish songs, sang in traditional vocals styles, but what made him different and gave him an edge was when he started to combine Western influences, merging the old with new and often complex psychedelic tunes. For this he was greatly recognised and his music travelled far, his haunting, elongated vocals a discerning attribute!
Taken from his 1974 eponymous album (and also released on 45 as the b-side to Degmen Benim Gamli Yasli Gönlüme in 1973), Yakar İnceden İnceden chants to the heavens with mysticism and magic! It’s got a delicious deep-psych groove that harnesses the senses with a hypnotic, driving force, matched only by those ascending vocals….It’s a beauty! Listen above and check out the translated lyrics below….
My eyes saw once
My age flows full
A fire fell in my heart
Vote thinly, vote thinly
Don’t be coma, let’s go to half
It’s a fire
I Can’t Leave My Loved One
White appears black, black
My whole face has become unsmiling
Without you the sun became dogma
I crossed mountains with one word
Come closer, closer