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View Poll Results: Psyche Belly Dance by Baba Zula
Excellent 1 33.33%
Good 1 33.33%
OK 1 33.33%
Disappointing 0 0%
Awful 0 0%
Voters: 3. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-21-2013, 07:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Psyche Belly Dance by Baba Zula

This thread is an invitation to anyone who wants to comment on or ask about the album Psyche Belly Dance, (or Ruhani Oyun Havalari ) which recently won a FAIR poll:-

Quote:
Ruhani Oyun Havalari (or Psyche Belly Dance) by BaBa ZuLa (2003)


A pretty relaxed album by a band from Istanbul which waters down the intensity of traditional belly dance music with echoey, laid-back electronica. Nothing ground-breaking by today´s standards, but an agreeable listen if you´re not a purist.

Some albums win a poll, but then aren´t discussed very much when they get a thread of their own. To try and remedy that, with TH´s permission, I´ve copied/adapted some of the discussion questions he uses in his own commendable thread: http://www.musicbanter.com/prog-psyc...lbum-club.html. So feel free to use these as an optional grid on which to hang out your opinions:-

1. What were your VERY FIRST impressions on listening to the album, say from the first five minutes in?


2. Did that opinion change as the album progressed or as you listened again?


3. Any comments on the instruments used or the genre?


4. What did you think of the vocals/lyrics if there were any?


5. What appealed most/turned you off most ? Track-by-track, do you have a least/most favourite?

6. Do you have any previous acquaintance with this artist? Other albums? Concert/tv appearances? Have you slept with any of the band members?


7. Any comments on the production, the packaging or the presentation of this album?


8. Do you think the album hung together well, ie was it a fully cohesive unit, or was it a bit hit-and-miss?

9. If you could change anything about this album, what would it be?

10. Will you be listening to this album much in the future, or investigating any related material ?
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Old 08-31-2013, 09:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It´s beginning to look like this is a club with only one member, aka a journal. Anyway, I gave this album a good listen and here´s my report from the front line:-

1. What were your VERY FIRST impressions on listening to the album, say from the first five minutes in?

First track sounded pleasant but rather generic; nothing out of the ordinary for that part of the world.


2. Did that opinion change as the album progressed or as you listened again?

Definitely. The first 9 tracks seem to be quite carefully graded; Track #2 gives the first hint of an international approach, because tucked into the incomprehensible lyrics, the woman sings something about CNN en tv and CIA, OK ?, presumably making some witty point about, er, English initials taking over the world. Anyway, subsequent tracks move progressively furthur away from the traditional approach of the opener, culminating in track #10(see below).

3. Any comments on the instruments used or the genre?

To me it´s all good; sinuous clarinet weaves its way though electronic percussive effects while on other tracks the lead instrument is something that sounds like a mandolin. Either way, the instrumentation never feels cluttered - every band member is given space to shine.


4. What did you think of the vocals/lyrics if there were any?

Vocals, shared by a man and a woman, are fine, but don´t expect to understand much unless you´re fluent in Turkish. Sometimes the female singer comes across as quite suggestive - transcending linguistic barriers, as they say. I don´t know exactly what she´s suggesting, but I´d like to try some, please. Here´s a live performance (not on the album) to show what I mean:-



5. What appealed most/turned you off most ? Track-by-track, do you have a least/most favourite?

By track #10 (Ser Ver Sir Ver), Baba Zula have shrugged off any semblance of traditional music and suddenly, on this wonderful track, a somber electronic soundscape opens up in which anything is possible - and as if to prove the point, there seems to be an electric horse galloping around in the mix.

Worst track for me is a 35-second piece that sounds like it´s come from another album altogether; maybe a Dixie Dregs try out or something. Why did they interrupt the flow for such a short track ?

6. Have you slept with any of the band members?

Not yet, but that dancer should´ve got my e-mail by now, so I´m keeping next weekend free....


8. Do you think the album hung together well, ie was it a fully cohesive unit, or was it a bit hit-and-miss?

Generally yes, especially because of the graded introduction of the electronic elements.

9. If you could change anything about this album, what would it be?

I would´ve liked some more wild electronic explorations in the style of Ser Ver Sir Ver.

10. Will you be listening to this album much in the future, or investigating any related material ?

Yep. have already downloaded most of the subsequent album, Duble Oyantal which is just as good.
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Old 09-18-2013, 08:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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1. What were your VERY FIRST impressions on listening to the album, say from the first five minutes in?

First impressions were favourable. Stylistically it seemed to have some potential.

2. Did that opinion change as the album progressed or as you listened again?

Probably by about 5 or 6 tracks in I found myself getting impatient. I was tempted to skip ahead but stuck with it.

3. Any comments on the instruments used or the genre?

Instrumentation was a nice blend of modern and traditional. I didn't find the electronic overlays as intrusive as I have on similar projects so they did a good job on that front. Maybe because the traditional sounds were overlayed on the electronic rather than the other way around which somehow seems more incongruous.

4. What did you think of the vocals/lyrics if there were any?

Vocals seemed more incidental as kind of another layer in the mix rather than a focal point in the songs.

5. What appealed most/turned you off most ? Track-by-track, do you have a least/most favourite?

I did find some of the beats fairly catchy but overall was probably a little bored. There didn't seem to be much to focus on in the tracks. Kind of a little trancy I suppose.

6. Do you have any previous acquaintance with this artist? Other albums? Concert/tv appearances? Have you slept with any of the band members?

No none.

7. Any comments on the production, the packaging or the presentation of this album?

No none.

8. Do you think the album hung together well, ie was it a fully cohesive unit, or was it a bit hit-and-miss?

I think they did a good job overall but it's not a genre I really gravitate towards.

9. If you could change anything about this album, what would it be?

Probably any changes I made would be missing the point of the album so I would probably leave it for what it is if that makes sense.

10. Will you be listening to this album much in the future, or investigating any related material ?

No I doubt it.


Overall I gave it an OK but if you like the genre it would probably score higher for you.
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Old 09-21-2013, 06:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Sorry to hear that your opinion went downhill from a favourable start, Stephen.

You make a good point about the way the vocals come across, and that was a plus for me.

Thanks for taking the trouble of listening to and reviewing Baba Zula even though you probably didn´t vote for it. If the people who did vote for it were as diligent as you, this album club would really be taking off...
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Did you ever hear of having more than you wanted? So that you couldn’t want anything else and then started looking for something else to want? It seems like we’re always searching for something to satisfy us, and never finding it. - Susan Eloise Hinton, 1967
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