Formed by three school friends in the Turkish capital of Ankara in 1999, Hayvanlar Alemi have established themselves at the vanguard of global psychedelic sound. Their acclaimed 2010 album Guarana Superpower was released on the buzz-label Sublime Frequencies and showcased the band’s unrepentant eclecticism and wide-eyed cosmic spirit. Interfacing with the golden age of Turkish psychedelic rock, surf music, Cambodian pop, West African guitar motifs, Middle Eastern traditional music and the knife edge of indie rock, it was clear from the beginning that Hayvanlar Alemi was an instrumental rock band for our radically interconnected millennium.
But in 2010 they also recorded and released (internet only) a dramatically different sort of album. The band had flirted with dub-reggae stylings since their inception and with Visions of a Psychedelic Ankara they at last realized their dream of making a full-blown dub album, though clearly a dub album that also embraced their own agenda. The album includes both covers of the Eek-a-Mouse classic "Assassinator" and a legendary Turkish radio jingle, and blends together re-workings of older Hayvanlar Alemi songs with freshly minted, dubwise explorations.
Drummer Isik Sarihan explains the album’s inception this way:
“We were listening to a lot of dub and reggae during the days leading up to this album. We even ended up playing in a reggae festival at some point; we were invited for some reason, maybe because we had some reggae rhythms on a bunch of songs on the previous demos. Anyway, we had this fantasy of creating a dub record, but in our own psych-rock fashion which led to Visions of a Psychedelic Ankara. The title is a reference to the African Head Charge album Vision of a Psychedelic Africa.”
Visions of a Psychedelic Ankara is the flashpoint where dub music and global psych-rock melt together.
It is a feast for all well-appointed sonic explorers.