Considering that Edip Akbayram was still active in 2006 and, in fact, enjoying a comeback of sorts in Turkey, some people might think this two-CD self-titled album is a career-encompassing "best-of." Truth is, there is no indication whatsoever in this album's booklet as to where these 24 tracks come from, but the press release states they are "the best psych tracks from his first two albums and many related singles," which would imply that the tracks were all recorded in the early '70s. An important figure in Turkish pop music, Akbayram and his band Dostlar were among the most successful at integrating Western instruments and structures into local music. What they came up with is an infectious, personal, and deeply honest form of psychedelic rock. Akbayram's warm and slightly dark voice seduces and entrances, while the fuzz guitars and heavy bass riffs resolutely anchor the music in the psychedelic current. Turkish instruments pop up everywhere, from some kind of clarinet and other amplified winds to frame drum and oud, constantly reminding us that we are far away from the British Invasion or the San Francisco scene. "Kolum Nerden Aldin Zinciri," "Mehmet Emmi," "Yakar Inceden Inceden" (also included on the 2005 compilation album Love, Peace & Poetry: Turkish Psychedelic Music) and "Gam Üstüne Gam Yapilir" are pure gems, but there are actually very few weak tracks on these two discs. It would be pointless to point out possible Western influences, as the band taps into the actual essence or spirit of the genre. One exception is found in "Ince Ince Bir Kar Yagar," which begins with a riff lifted straight from Yes' 1972 hit "Roundabout." This collection is Akbayram's first album available outside of Turkey and was licensed from the artist. The songs were transferred from vinyl -- you can hear faint pops and crackles here and there. Sound quality is mostly good, occasionally muddy. Don't expect a crystal-clear remastered sound. That said, the strength of the music largely compensates sonic shortcomings. To most psych music fans, these recordings will be a revelation.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2