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Rising Turkish Psych Band Headlines August Hall in San Francisco

By Dave Pehling

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- Modern Turkish psych outfit Altin Gün returns to San Francisco to headline its biggest local show yet at August Hall Tuesday night.

Founded in 2016 by musicians who first worked together Dutch modern psych explorer Jacco Gardner, Altın Gün -- "Golden Day" in Turkish -- is the creative outlet for bassist Jasper Verhulst to explore a love for Turkish rock and folk music that he discovered during a post-tour stay in Istanbul. Teaming with his Jacco Gardner bandmate guitarist Ben Rider, drummer Nic Mauskovic (who would later be replaced by current drummer Daniel Smienk), percussionist Gino Groenveld and Turkish musicians Merve Dasdemir (vocals, synth) and Erdinc Yildiz Ecevit (vocals, saz, synth), the group developed a sound that put a modern psychedelic twist on Turkish traditional standards that sound fresh and otherworldly to unfamiliar ears.

Altin Gun Metropolis 2017 Part 3 by Peter Palm on YouTube

Following the lead of Turkish artists from the '60s and '70s like Baris Manço and Erkin Koray who similarly mixed their native folk music and the psychedelic rock of the era, Altin Gün particularly mined the songbook of Neşet Ertaş for its early set lists as the band started playing venues in its home base of Amsterdam. Before long, the group was approached by European imprint Bongo Joe Records, which issued a pair of 7-inch singles by the band prior to releasing their debut album On last year.

Altin Gün - Vay Dünya by Bongo Joe Records on YouTube

The infectiously melodic, propulsive songs on that first effort and the group's growing reputation for kinetic live performances earned Altin Gün international praise and invitations to perform at festivals throughout Europe and beyond. It was an appearance at the King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard curated Gizzfest in Australia that led the band to getting signed to ATO Records.

Altın Gün - Live at 3voor12 Radio by 3voor12 on YouTube

With the release of the band's more electronic sophomore effort Gece in 2019, Altin Gün ramped up its activity in the U.S. Their summer tour included headlining shows, festival appearances at Pickathon in Portland and the sextet's first performance in San Francisco at Outside Lands that proved to be one of the highlights of the fest.

Altin Gün - Gelin Halayı by Altın Gün on YouTube

The group would return to the States that fall to open several shows for Australian pop-psych heroes Tame Impala ahead of a spot playing at the lauded Desert Days Festival at Moreno Beach in Southern California and a string of dates that will take them into the Northwest and Canada. The prolific band also released a pair of new tunes ahead of the first U.S. reissue of On via ATO the same year.

Altın Gün - Ordunun Dereleri by Altın Gün on YouTube

The pandemic would slow some of the momentum the group had built up in 2020, but Altin Gün would use the downtime wisely, focusing on recording sessions for a pair of new albums -- Yol and Âlem -- that further pushed the band's sound towards the electronic sounds of late '70s Eurodisco and pulsating '80s synthpop. This anticipated show at August Hall in San Francisco Tuesday presented by Noise Pop marks the band's first return visit to San Francisco in over two and a half years.

Altin Gün
Tuesday, April 19, 7:30 p.m. $27.50
August Hall

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