Siddhartha - Trip to Innerself. 1998 Turkey

Siddhartha - s/t. 1998 private (CD)

CD reissue: 2009 Trail (USA). Reissue of the above (as Trip To Innerself) with a complete new re-edit, and a couple of additions/subtractions.

I've often thought that Turkey is a country that could - perhaps should - produce amazing psychedelic space rock albums. The indigenous music culture alone, outside of any rock influence, speaks to the exotic and... well... the psychedelic. But it really hasn't happened that way, even if you consider the more known stars of the 1970s like Baris Manco and Erkin Koray. Siddhartha at least made a sincere attempt at mixing the music of East and West. Though unfortunately it weighs too much towards the latter, and ultimately sounds like any number of bands from Europe emulating the various stages of instrumental Pink Floyd and the like. Still, there's much to admire here, in particular the title track, 'The Explorer', and especially 'Nervous Breakdown'. 

For Middle Eastern psychedelic cosmic rock, it's hard to beat Agitation Free's "Malesch" (Germany 1972). And for modern bands, Astrakhan's Vespero is the gold standard for such a sound. But there's never too much of this type of music as far as I'm concerned, and I do hope Siddhartha do consider reforming in some form or fashion. Though it appears that one of the key contributors - namely Özgür Kurcan - sadly passed away in 2011.

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