With Ask, the Amsterdam-based sextet Altin Gün marks an exuberant return to the 70s Anatolian folk-rock sound that characterized their first two albums, On (2018) and Gece (2019).
Lead single “Rakiya Su Katamam” is glowering space rock as though Gong had taken a stopover on the Bosporous. “Canim Oy” is a psychedelic freak-beat stomper from a world where Istanbul’s Kadiköy district was the Carnaby Street of the east. “Güzelli?in On Para Etmez” is a dreamy acid-folk anthem. And the finale, “Doktor Civanim,” is an irresistible slice of sci-fi disco camp with lava-lamp synth squiggles that wouldn’t sound out of place next to Baris Mancos “Ben Bilirim.”
Ask is the closest the band has come so far to capturing the infectious energy of their live performances. “It’s definitely connecting more with a live sound,” says bassist Jasper Verhulst. “We, as a band, just went into a rehearsal space together and created music together instead of demoing at home.”
“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.