Sunday, May 19, 2013

Altin Mikrofon | 1965, 1966 & 1967-68

I found this incredible, legendary series at Uludag Video (1922 Avenue W, Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn) in 2008 or so, a few years before they stopped importing CDs ("We can make no money doing it," I was told).

There was a really sweet guy there at Uludag who I got to know a bit; it was he who turned me on to Altin Mikrofon, imploring me to pick up all three CDs, telling me I would never regret it, "but if you come back here in a week, two weeks, and they are gone?" Here ... let me just cut and paste a few things from the Altin Mikrofon page of

"There was such a blasting of bands that one of the biggest national newspapers, Hürriyet, decided to organize a big contest that would help the young amateur bands have their names heard throughout the country. The contest organizers wanted the musicians to either compose songs in Turkish or arrange a traditional tune, in a western style with electric western instruments. The finalists performed live In many cities. Had Altin Mikrofon not been assembled, we wouldn't likely to be talking about a 60's & 70's Turkish rock scene."

And a bit more from the same page:

"Altin Mikrofon, or 'the Golden Microphone,' was first held in 1965 to help give a new direction to contemporary turkish music through the use of western techniques, forms and instruments. The finalists would get their contest song plus a song of their choice recorded and printed as the A and B sides of a single, which was sold on the music market with all revenue benefiting the groups."

I remember reading a bit more about Altin Mikrofon somewhere, but can't seem to locate anything but the page from which those two quotes above appear. I seem to recall that this was not simply a fun contest that ultimately led to the Turkish Psychedelic movement, but rather part of a larger Turkish program to westernize (read: de-Islamicize) the culture. 

Whatever the case, it's certainly true that Altin Mikrofon would prove highly influential on the direction of Turkish pop music to come. It boggles the mind--my mind, at any rate--that the series, which I believe is fully contained in this three-CD set, has not yet been seized upon by some enterprising western label looking to cash in on the general mania for international psyche music (especially Turkish psyche) ... but, until they do, you can grab the series for yourself via the links below.

Get 1965

Get 1966

Get 1967-68


Holly said...

I've been digging the 1965 set since June - so psyched for 2 more volumes!

Why these haven't been reissued is a mystery.

Gary said...

Yeah, and as far as I know, the series hasn't been released outside of Turkey. It seems like a ready-made project!

Also, the back-story is incredible and very rich--the sort of thing someone in ethnomusicology or even anthropology could write a whole book about.

Well ... maybe someday!

Unknown said...

man u save my life hahaha Thanks for these jewel!!! hug from Brazil!

Unknown said...

nice!! great stuff

jay said...

This is great stuff. I reviewed it for UGLY THINGS magazine 9 or ten years ago. And this three_CD set was re-released

Michelle K. said...

Anybody know which record label put it out originally AND who reissued it?
All I've found about it is here on Bodega Pop (Thanks!) and here:

Thanks for any info folks.

Michelle K. said...

Any idea which record label originally released this?
Also, Jay, what label did the reissue?

All I've found on it is here on Bodega Pop (thanks for posting!)
and here

Thanks for any info folks.