Ali Kuru – Mandari EP



Despite a discography that stretches right back to the late noughties, little is known about Turkish producer Ali Kuru. Perhaps he’s publicity shy, or simply wants to let his music do the talking; either way, the music he makes is magical, and undoubtedly worthy of wider acclaim.

Kuru came to the attention of Leng late last year, releasing the Luna 12” – his first vinyl release for six years – in January 2016. That EP boasted two typically exotic and fragrant tracks, both of which effortlessly joined the dots between dub disco, hazy house, gentle downtempo movements and snaking, Middle Eastern instrumentation.

Here, the Istanbul native further explores his unique musical perspective, serving up a quartet of tracks that eschew easy categorization. Twittering birds, throbbing dub basslines, crisp hip-hop beats, trippy vocal samples, and distant chimes combine on the moody “Mandari”, while “Causa” peppers a jangling, acoustic guitar-laden loop-groove with fluttering flutes, deep space electronics and rolling hand percussion.

On the flip, his more exotic musical inspirations return to the fore. There’s “Zurna” – the musical equivalent of a panicked dash through a bustling late night market full of drunken jazz drummers, metronomic groove merchants and snake-charming pungi players – and the low-slung stomp of “Avaz”. Here, sampled vocal chants and Bollywood-inspired instrumentation wind their way around a rubbery bassline and handclap-heavy rhythm track. If there was such a thing as Turkish-Hindi jazzdance – and maybe there should be – then this would be a guaranteed floorfiller.

All four tracks offer further glimpses into Ali Kuru’s fertile imagination. It’s the perfect teaser for the Turkish producer’s debut album, which will be released by Leng in early 2017.

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