Jakuzi, an Istanbul-based Turkish-language synth-pop band formed around the core-duo of Kutay Soyocak on vocals and Taner Yücel on bass and synths, will be releasing their debut album 'Fantezi Müzik' via City Slang on 24th March 2017. Today they share their first track "Koca Bir Saçmalik", a synth-disco hit which deals lyrically with the themes of disappointment, sacrifice and anger. You can watch and share the accompanying VHS-style music video, which has already accrued close to 100K views following its Turkish release.
Jakuzi don't sound like any other band out there right now. Their debut album 'Fantezi Müzik' could be described as a lo-fi pop masterpiece from a faraway time, place and perhaps an alternate universe. Think David Bowie having a fever dream in Turkey, Depeche Mode stranded at the Bosporus… but at the end of the day they just sound completely like themselves.
While music fans and the press were busy catching up on the Turkish legacy of 70s rock and psychedelia, a very active and vibrant underground music scene was developing under the radar in Istanbul. Jakuzi are the latest offspring, and their debut record might just change the international perception of contemporary Turkish music.
Many of the songs are deeply rooted in the rich history of Turkish pop but Western listeners will also take note of a wide variety of influences ranging from krautrock, disco and post-punk, which Jakuzi were able to translate into something uniquely gripping. In the Autumn of 2016, the band released a handful of songs on cassette tape and digitally via Bandcamp in Turkey (until Paypal was banned) and quickly rose to fame in their hometown of Istanbul; excelling at a genre that was more or less unfamiliar in their country, and surprising everyone including themselves.
Jakuzi's gothic sensibility reaches deep into their own experiences and pulls out honest, raw and even sensual emotions. “Belki De Sen Hakl?s?n” is a dreampop song which was written while Kutay and Taner were both dealing with relationship problems of their own which they worked out through their musical collaboration. Masculine Turkish music of any genre is not known for being introspective. However their openness extends further than just being upfront about their feelings. The song “Lubunya" is about Kutay and Taner's respect for people of trans-orientation, which is an absolute first for Turkish popular music. Their concerts offer a safe place for Turkish punks and goths but also for people of alternative sexuality.
Highlights of the album include the opener “Geriye Dönemiyor” and closer “Yine Ayni ?eyi Yapt?m”, both of which point out Jakuzi's attraction to more progressive new wave styles; “Her An Ölecek Gibi” mixes Turkish romanticism with supreme chillwave and “Bir Dü?man?m Var“, a fan favorite, has turns of phrase and harmonic artistry that would make Bryan Ferry blush.
'Fantezi Müzik’ is a record that is stoked by enthusiasm for music, a manifest for life and change; it creates an alternative option to the harsh reality. Kutay’s voice, which deals throughout the record with all the elements of life’s miseries: alienation, love, death, passion and not giving up, is eerie and haunting. It’s in Turkish, but you can still understand and relate to it - it’s a voice so powerful that it sends shivers down your spine.
'Fantezi Müzik’ is a magical, emotional and romantic journey that embodies individuality and disaffection and exhibits a true underground pop spirit that is also far more punk than it would first appear.