While it is true that young people in Turkey are getting clued in on their 70s Anadolu psyche heritage through international acts like Altin Gün (if the Westerners like it, then it must be good), one has the sense that Lalalar’s sound may be closer to the hearts of young western-leaning Istanbulus.

“Lala,” Ali Güçlü Şimşek, explains,  is “the wise man, the teacher of sultans in Ottoman history. And at the same time, in slang, one one who doesn’t know what he is talking about.” Then add -lar, making it plural and you’ve got “The Wise Men – Not”

At first this debut album is rather intimidating. One feels a bit cowered by what appears to be an impenetrable wall of sound closing in on one. Upon repeated listens, however, one catches glimpses of chinks in the sonic  masonry; something to grab hold of – and ultimately  the onslaught of noise begins to dissolve into  various and rather beguiling and richly textured component parts. Particularly daring are the wonderfully cinematic arabesk flourishes broadening the horizon beyond the creeping claustrophobic wall of heavy rock sound, and serving rather the same function as the sporting of a  reactionary mustache on the face of an unrepentant hipster.

“Depresyon Çiktim Boşluktayim” is an attention getter, making use of just the right dosage of darbukas, arabesk strings and dark, brooding guitar riffs heavy with static as well as a vocal style that is more rap-like patter than proper singing.

“Sol Şeritte” is also a standout. With eighties, new-wavish vocals, rather intriguingly fusing  a typical Turkish  kind of melancholic longing – huzün – with eighties style new wave angst.

“Hata Benim Hata Benim Göbek Adim”, too, is striking, propelled by a driving beat and displaying a fluctuating  vocal manner that is more what we have come to expect from traditional Turkish acts.

It is a rather interesting World Music dynamic. While European folk acts draw ever closer to traditional roots, non-western outfits with a Western audience cachet, keep pushing the experimental envelop further and further. Like two ships passing in the night. Lalalar is no exception.