Anatolian Psychedelic rock may sound like an odd combination at first, but for Jasper Verhulst, it was a source of inspiration. He founded the band “Altin Gün” (which translates to “Golden Day” in English) after his trip to Istanbul in 2016. In an article from Crack Magazine, Verhults talks about how he was fascinated by the music of the ’70s and ’80s that dominated Turkish and Anatolian folk music. Combining the two, he found a fresh and innovative sound that still keeps a nostalgic feel. Their music is whimsical and full of energy. The groovy guitar riff and the bouncy bass lays the perfect foundation for their songs Their songs are full of dense melodies and dream-like funky-rhythms. Although the group is based in Amsterdam, Verhulst made sure to include Turkish artists in his band in the interest of maintaining authenticity. That’s where Merve Dasdemir and Erdinc Evecit Yildiz got involved. Verhulst found them on Facebook and appointed them as the band’s lead vocalists. The rest of the band consists of Verhulst and Ben Rider on guitar, Daniel Smienk on drums, and Gino Groeneveld on percussion.
The band takes traditional Turkish folk music and puts their own modern twist on the style. In an interview with All Things Loud, the band disclosed that despite not writing their own music from scratch, they do not identify themselves as a cover band but rather a folk outfit. This is proven to be true with their debut album On (“ten” in Turkish), consisting of 10 songs. With the innovations they added on the tunes of traditional folk songs, it’s hard to recognize the original tracks. The album gives the listener a unique experience with a very rare sound. The oriental themes are still present but they are combined with the added layers of percussion and synths. The music is consequently very out of the ordinary and dream-like. Even if you don’t understand the lyrics, the groovy psychedelic riffs will pull you in. This sonic immersion is exactly the band’s intent. In the same interview from All things Loud, lead vocalist Merve Dasdemir cites basic human emotion as the main element of their music and says that she finds it very “cool” that the audience can feel this emotion through the music without knowing the language. The band has been performing since 2017 and has had hundreds of shows to date, including a US tour. They reached a larger audience when they performed at the Trans Musicales Festival in 2017, which can be viewed on KEXP’s Youtube channel. In 2019, when they dropped their second studio album Gece (“Night”), they truly came into their own and found their sound. The album is very cohesive and well-produced, a truly eccentric work full of funky grooves. They even incorporate an electric Saz. Using an electric version of a traditional Turkish folk instrument really embodies the band’s balance between convention and innovation. Altin Gün is worth giving a shot for people who are looking for a new genre-bending band to dance to. My personal favorite from the band is “Süpürgesi Yoncadan” which perfectly captures the vibe the band is going for and is great to bop your head to.
Written by: Müge Acar