- Mehmet Aslan is a DJ/producer of Turkish origin who runs a party called Family Affairs in Basel, Switzerland. The relationship between him and Huntleys + Palmers began when the latter played at his club some time ago. Aslan eventually released a couple of tracks through the H+P sublabel Highlife. Mechanical Turk is his first full release, and it's a superb realisation of Aslan's stated aim to blend traditional Turkish music with house and techno.
A propulsive bassline and distant cowbells give the title track (which is a rework of a cut by the Romanian band Karpov Not Kasparov) a housey spine, while various intoxicating horn ribbons oscillate in the foreground. It's a natural-sounding and simple melding of styles that evokes some of the best moments on the Acid Arab album. "Hidden" and "New Africanism" are equally well executed. The former turns its horns into a huge, Panorama Bar-slaying bass groove, with clacking percussion, big chords and a countdown vocal completing the scene. The latter is a frenetic yet luxuriant blend of urgent bass, ping-pong percussion and heavenly pads. Prior to recording these tracks, Aslan apparently feared that he couldn't make this meeting of styles work on the dance floor. With Mechanical Turk he's proved himself wrong three times.
A1 Mechanical Turk (Courtesy Of Karpov Not Kasparov)
B2 New Africanism