MERT BASARAN - September-November 2011
Between the years 2003 and 2006, I received a whole load of CDs by Sad Eyed Lemurs, a musical project by Istanbul based artist Mert Basaran. Like a true outsider musician, he was overly productive and never even tried to market his albums. There followed five years where I lost touch with him and his music, until I received once again a DVD with tons of music and videos of songs he recorded from 1999 until the present time. After that, I started getting again self-burned CDs on a monthly basis.
It would be too much work going into each and every one of them, so I will write a summary review of the four items he sent me, comprising his recordings during the three months September, October and November. It is striking that the songs all come with a recording date, and it seems as if Mert Basaran made a recording nearly every day of every month. Some songs are featured more than once, and should be considered elaborations on a theme.
You might think that so much productivity can only result in unlistenable garbage, but that’s where you would be wrong. Of course it is difficult to listen through more or less three hours of music, especially since his songs are more or less all three minutes long, and are therefore rather thoroughly composed musical items than meaningless improvisations. In the past I never seemed to notice how much of an accomplished pianist Mert Basaran is. The piano is consequently the main instrument, while his hushed vocals fit the melancholic mood of his songs perfectly. He is adding to this discreet percussion, synths, bass lines, in order to make the overall product seem more fully fleshed out.
If you google Mert Basaran, you will find an obscure Myspace page and a couple of videos that will give you a good impression of his idiosyncratic and very intimate music. Afterwards, it’s up to you to find out how you can get more of his music. It definitely should be worth the effort. And I wish you good luck on your quest!