The first thing that grabs you about Altin Gün’s new album is the energy.
With Aşk, the Amsterdam-based sextet turn away from the electronic, synth-drenched sound of their 2021 albums, Âlem and Yol. While those two, created at home during the pandemic, paid homage to the electronic pop of the 80s and early 90s, Aşk, marks an exuberant return to the 70s Anatolian folk-rock sound that characterised Altin Gün’s first two albums, On (2018) and Gece (2019).
But there’s development here too. Aşk is the closest the band have come so far to capturing the infectious energy of their live performances. “It’s definitely connecting more with a live sound – almost like a live album,” says bassist Jasper Verhulst. “We, as a band, just going into a rehearsal space together and creating music together instead of demoing at home.”
“We didn’t record it like we did the last album,” agrees vocalist Merve Daşdemir. “We basically produced that one at home because of the pandemic. Now we’ve gone back to recording live on tape.”
“We took a very traditional approach to recording a rock album, like in the 70s,” Verhulst adds. In this instance, that doesn’t just mean getting six musicians together in a room with a few microphones. “It’s also about the gear that we are using,” says Verhulst, “the tape and everything.”
It’s this attention to detail in using vintage equipment and recording techniques that gives the album such a warm and welcoming sound. But, above all, this is the sound of friends and collaborators joyfully reconvening to make music together again in real time and space.
There’s also a deliberate return to the source in the material they’ve chosen for this album. All ten tracks are new readings of traditional Turkish folk tunes, revealing how these ancient songs remain eternally resonant and ripe for reinterpretation. “These songs have been covered so many times, always,” says Daşdemir “But not really in psychedelic pop versions,” Verhulst adds.
Fresh yet timeless. Rooted in antiquity yet yearning for heavenly futures. Aşk wants to take you places. All you have to do is strap yourself in.