Words by Martin Stokes
Rattle those pots and pans: KT have turned 21
Kardeş Türküler celebrate their 21st anniversary with this ‘Best Of’ compilation. They have become such a feature of the musical landscape in Turkey it is hard to remember what life was like before them – back when singing in Armenian, Kurdish and other ‘minority’ languages was banned, or few would risk it. But they sound as fresh, exciting, and politically charged today as they did in 1993. The only regret is that ‘Tencere Tava Havası’ (the ‘Pots and Pans Tune’), anthem of the Gezi Park protests of 2013, isn’t included.
‘On Iki Eylül’, a sombre instrumental number remembering the 1980 military coup, is the only direct reminder of the culture of protest from which they emerged, and to which they still contribute. Every number here is a treat, but the first five – songs of the Turkish-Kurdish borderlands – show Kardeş Türküler at their very best. There are riffs on Anatolian love songs and laments, swirling instrumental improvisations, singalong choruses, passionate vocals, and ultimately an irresistible sense of fun.