“They might not like us but no one can say we’re not original,” declares Osman Murat Ertel of the group he helped found 20 years back. He’s right – Baba Zula are a one-off, their “Istanbul psychedelia” offering an often madcap brew of Anatolian folk, krautrock and reggae. XX is in part a “Best Of” collection, although it chooses remixes and live tracks over the originals, and adds another disc of dub cuts for good measure. It’s by turns playful and earnest. Their biggest hit, Biz Size Aşık Olduk, is a sweet clarinet melody with rattling spoons, while Eternal Is the Word of Poets is a pulsing broadside against the political establishment, led by electric lute. Bosphorus rock’n’roll.
Baba Zula: XX review – a heady Turkish brew
Neil Spencer is a writer and an astrologer for The Observer