Link to Living Tradition Homepage






Hobgoblin Records HOBCD1013

Dogan Mehmet is a Brighton born-and-bred second generation Turkish Cypriot in his early twenties who has diverse musical influences ranging from the traditional English folk music and dance of his birthplace to the music of his genealogical roots in Turkey and Cyprus. They all come into play on this recording - and a few others besides!

He himself contributes vocals, violins, saz/bouzouki and percussion while the Boombox Karavan provide everything from trombone to laptop, guitars to rap, darabouka to Morris Dancing! This is a truly eclectic mixture of classic English ballads with Turkish and Cypriot songs and dance melodies in all kinds of different settings – some funky, some reggaefied, some very traditional English sounding and some very eastern sounding!

The opening track Lord Bateman is set to a funky Turkish style backing and, appropriately enough, tells the story of the forbidden love between Turkish and English royalty. Dogan describes this sound as “Anglo Ottoman Funk” – that just about sums it up!

Aaziziye & Susta (slight return) is a Cypriot folk dance, presented in a pretty traditional sounding manner (to my uneducated ear anyway), and showcases Dogan's prowess on the violin. The tune conjures up images of sunshine, sand and lively Cypriot bars.

Roaming Journey Man, in total contrast, is set to a very stripped back traditional English melodeon accompaniment and displays Dogan's ability to present a traditional song in a traditional way. Having said that, the track morphs into a Cypriot dance tune, Sarhos Zeybek! A weird combination but it really does work!

Miles Weatherhill, another well known English classic, is an unaccompanied song thrown in for good measure.

Bonny Boy – well, there's a hint of the original in there somewhere - suffice to say Led Zeppelin meets the English classic ballad.

On presentation - the sleeve notes give plenty of information on the provenance of all the songs and tunes which goes some way to understanding where Dogan is coming from.

Dogan has unique talent in his vocal and musical ability, but even more in his ability to think outside the box when it comes to arrangement and presentation. His music covers and fuses a great breadth of traditions and styles, but the overriding feeling from this recording is the obvious enthusiasm he has for what he is doing, along with a truly perceptible sense of mischievousness and fun. Not for the fainthearted or the purist - but that is not what it's trying to be. “Eclectic” is the only word to sum this up.

Jim Byrne


Secure On-line mailorder service
Buy this CD online from The Listening Post
The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 94 of The Living Tradition magazine.