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World Music CD Reviews Middle East & North Africa

Various Artists

By Jill Ettinger
Published October 2, 2008

Rough Guide to Turkish Café
World Music Network

Turkey is a maze of modernity perched on an ancient landscape that straddles both Europe and Asia. This blends itself well in sounds diverse and compelling. Whether it’s playing on a packed Istanbul dance floor or a quiet nightspot in an Aegean seaside town, all the music tells a story, and often several. Opening with a passionate offering, “Dile Yaman” from KNAR (featuring Tatiana Bostan), The Rough Guide To Turkish Café delivers an incredibly rounded snapshot of its rhythmic roots and current explorations, weaving in and out from gypsy to folk and pop Sezen Aksu’s “Oh Oh” a catchy, dancy pop song replete with horns and hooks to keep you moving or tracks like “Bulut” (Musa Eroglu) offer a deeper journey into the heart of an elegant, historic culture. Nineteen tracks in all, The Rough Guide is a gorgeous compilation and foray into this eclectic culture unfolding in a picturesque soundscape of contemporary wonder.