Various Artists

26 Turkish Beat, Psych and Garage Delights

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A European companion of sorts to the Hava Narghile collection that came out in the States the same year -- Gökhan Aya provides the liner notes and assembly here as he did with Jay Dobis on the other collection -- the rather windily titled 26 Turkish Beat, Psych and Garage Delights is packed with merry late-'60s madness from Anatolia. There's a bit of overlap with Hava Narghile in the track listing itself -- among the repeat numbers are "Agit" by Yabancilar and Haramiler's "Çamlica Yolunda" -- but for the most part these tracks are new to the digital realm, and those taken with the first compilation will definitely want this one. If the packaging of 26 Turkish Beats is not quite up to the levels of Hava Narghile -- somebody really needed to properly proofread Aya's essays and description -- what really matters is the music, and that sounds great. As with much such regional psych material recorded around the world during the genre's heyday, many of the surviving recordings here are only available through mastering off vinyl -- sometimes a frustration, but in many cases the results are remarkably crisp and clear (check out the excellent lead track by the legendary Mogollar, "Eastern Love," for a fine example). As always, covers of overseas items alternate with more homegrown songs or adaptations, thus the appearance of jaunts through the likes of Paul Revere & the Raiders and the Yardbirds. The find of the set has to be Bunalimlar, whose heavy-ass "Tas Var Köpek Yok," the band's 1969 debut single, kicks out some major acid/folk/psych jams; not far behind is the fried solo-crazy "Nenni" by Beybonlar, consisting of teenagers (not to mention an 11-year-old drummer!). Add it all up and it's a mix of inspired amateurism, occasional revelatory insanity, and the sheer buzz of performing and getting one's groove on -- universal qualities no matter what the language being used.