Mustafa Özkent is a Turkish guitarist, composer and arranger, best known for his debut 1973 instrumental record (masterpiece), Gençlik İle Elele. which was recorded live in just one day with some of the best studio musicians in Turkey (under the band name, Mustafa Özkent Ve Orkestrası).
Consisting of of 2 drummers, 2 guitarists, 2 percussionists, a bassist and a Hammond B3 organist, Özkent created his own unique guitar sound by adding extra frets and a clutch of effect pedals in order to create quarter notes and emulate turkish traditional scales. This sound was way ahead of its time and fused psychedelia, pop/rock influences, raw r&b grooves and jazz-influenced improvisations!
Andy Votel once named Mustafa Özken as the “Dr Frankenstein of Anatolian Pop” which, with his multi-genre infusions, was very apt! He was also recognised as the creator of Anatolian funk, but his music took funk further into new realms, marrying traditional folk with rock, jazz, blues, funk and psych. Özkent took traditional turkish folk songs and reconstructed them for the new “hip” generation!
Gençlik İle Elele is every bit as fresh and exciting now as it was over 40 years ago and, with its heavy groove meanderings, hypnotic percussion and heavy break beats, makes for a very funky listen. Only a handful of copies from the original pressing are known to exist, hurling prices for this record into the £1000’s; which is why a reissue was sooo welcomed when it came along in 2006, thanks to UK’s Finders Keepers label! Following the success of the reissue, Özkent embarked a tour, performing the songs off the record on festivals such as Le Guess Who? and Europalia and went on to record many more albums into the 1980’s!
Burçak Tarlası features on Gençlik İle Elele and is alive with monster beats of gigantic proportions! The drums are insanely glorious, whilst the melody propels sinuous kaleidoscopic sonic shapes out into the world, showering it with funky delight!…
The whole album is well-worth a listen, so if you like what you’ve heard so far and fancy hearing more, I’ve included a link below! Listen above.