Jakuzi gained much tongue-wagging in 2017 with the release of their debut album Fantezi Müzik, which showcased the modern-synthesized Turkish underground music. Going against the conventions of a male-fronted band out of Istanbul, there was much talk both positive and negative about a band taking a more introspective approach with their music. With their new album, Hata Payi, it seems like that approach has not been thrown away, it has only matured with age.
When they originally released their debut on cassette in 2016, the band certainly didn’t expect the album to leave their circle, nevermind be re-released via City Slang Records in 2017. It was rather astounding, how quickly it all happened, gaining much acclaim and performing sell-out shows. So now they are back two years later with a new LP, which once again is Turkish in lyrics. This obviously has it’s issues, as they don’t conform to a mould that any playlist likes, too modern and introspective for the Turkish scene but for expressing the music in the form they wish, taking the approach they wish, they have not lost credibility.
The title of their 2019 record translates to “a part of the mistake” and it focuses on what it’s like to be a young adult growing up in Istanbul, having success and then having to live up to expectations, being an artist in a country that doesn’t necessarily support your work, managing personal relationships and also addressing mental health. It certainly remains psychological and reflective, however with a refined sound that certainly gets me thinking about bands like Talk Talk and Depeche Mode.
Culminating synth with krautrock and post punk sounds, it’s a dark album, suggestive of the inner demons being addressed. His vocals have an earnest touch, adding to the layered prog rock appeal. His intention is not only help himself with this music, but also the listeners. I just wish I had learnt more Turkish when I personally was over in Istanbul, but the gist of the album is about accepting who you are and confronting the demons that are ever-present in this modern society.
Contemporary, synth-based but with much of a Western eighties and nineties sounds, this new record reeks with nostalgia, which in itself opens the doors for a reflection, an intriguing band.
Hata Payi is out now, via City Slang Records.