The Turbans: The Turbans
Six Degrees Records – 6th April 2018
Bigotry makes the world a sad and lonely place. Being trapped in your own little world, only ever interacting with those who look, talk and think exactly like you…it must be suffocating. A band like The Turbans kicks the door wide open, letting the sunlight stream in, welcoming the world with open arms. Comprised of musicians from Turkey, Bulgaria, Israel, Iran, Greece, Spain, and England, The Turbans make a joyful noise that draws from all the different cultures represented by the band members.
“Train Station in Jerusalem” is one of the oldest films ever made, by the Lumiere Brothers in 1896. It’s quite startling that in one short film, made more than a century ago, you see people in traditional Arab, Orthodox Greek, Western, and Hasidic Jewish attire, living peacefully side by side. It’s no stretch of the imagination to believe that the different cultures influenced one another and the mind boggles thinking of the music that would have come from a place like Jerusalem in 1896. It might have sounded a bit like The Turbans.
The Turbans story begins in Kathmandu, where guitarist Oshan Mahony met violinist Darius Luke Thompson. The two half-Iranian, half-British musicians hit it off and began busking in India, picking up musicians along the way. The Turbans were born.
If you’re looking for a political agenda with The Turbans, you’ll look in vain. In the band’s own words: ‘The only message we want to put across is that we believe in one world, one people. We want to play for everybody’. This self-titled release is The Turbans’ debut album.
“Kansianitsa” is a fiery instrumental that might not have sounded out of place on the seminal French documentary about gypsy music “Latcho Drom”. Flute and oud take turns laying down withering solos over a rhythmic bed that marries Arabia, Eastern Europe and gypsy music.
“Aman” harkens back to the Moorish roots of flamenco, featuring Greek and Spanish lyrics over flamenco guitar, percussion and violin, bringing to mind flamenco legends the Gypsy Kings.
While “Madhavski Horo” has a strong klezmer flavour, “Ruuah” is probably the most subdued track on this overall very danceable record, as a flute plays a yearning, swirling melody over a sombre, minimalist beat.
“Hackney”is an ode to the multi-ethnic London background where all members have lived at some point, sounding every bit like the eclectic, exuberant party music you’d expect to hear in a place like that.
The Turbans create a highly danceable stew of different musical styles from all over the world-“manywhere” as the band call it-played with fire and conviction, and first-rate musicianship. Bass oud, flute, flamenco guitar, cajon, lyrics in Greek, Spanish, Bulgarian and English: a smorgasbord of flavours and sounds, sharing a common passion and the belief that on the dance floor, as in life, we are all one.
Order The Turbans here https://www.sixdegreesrecords.com/the-turbans-album/