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Friends & Family, the latest album by Turkish percussionist Ayhan Sicimoglu.

Whoa boy. You know how you occasionally run into a piece of music that stops you in your tracks? It was like that for me the first time I heard Radio Tarifa, Inti Illimani or NovaLima.

Listening to MPR today, I heard a short piece about a Turkish percussionist who's a veteran of New York's salsa scene. His name is Ayhan Sicimoglu. Upon returning to Istanbul, he started cranking out a blend of music that brings together Latin and Turkish music. Actually, that's not an accurate description. It's more like he lays a base of solid Latin rhythm (Salsa, Merengue, Reggaeton) and weaves elements of Turkish instrumentation throughout (imagine a Turkish bagpipe, or Tulum, playing over a Carribean beat). I'm sure it's more complex and synthetic than that. Regardless, it's really worth a listen. My favorite so far is Reggaeturkaton, which takes Reggaeton to a level I never imagined. Not far behind is Esperare (the classic Te Esperare).

Listen to samples and download the album at Calabash Music.

hey!! so happy that Sicimoglu was heard by real latinos, cos back in Turkey, he's one of the very few "real real" latin percussionists. we're more stuck with ours, u know :P

about the song u've mentioned, there are some dialogues in between from old Turkish movies, and they tell a story (it's also in the album cover):

a turkish immigrant girl in germany falls in love with a latino guy, but the family doesn't approve that love, yet she can't give up on him cos he's the only joy of her life.

originally from istanbul, now i'm a MA student in the netherlands. here all my close friends are latinos; i think my country was placed in the wrong continent :)

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