To celebrate its 20-year anniversary, the Istanbul-based band Baba Zula will provide listeners with a window into their deepest grooves. The XX compilation, available as a two-CD set, gathers together unreleased tracks and alternative takes from the group's history.
XX has a particular focus on the group's diverse, often surprising array of collaborators. There are tracks with reggae masters Sly & Robbie, Dr. Das of Hackney's Asian Dub Foundation and Alexander Hacke of German noise pioneers Einstürzende Neubauten. The second CD contains a dub mix.
Established by electric saxophonist Osman Murat Ertel and percussionist Levent Akman in 1996, Baba Yada were originally influenced by Turkey's psychedelic rock of the 1960s. To this sound, which itself drew on traditional Ottoman folk, the band spliced the motorik of Krautrock and the lopping rhythms of dub. The Guardian's Robin Denselow declared Baba Zula's last album, Do Not Obey (2016), "a rousing, defiant set from the cultural crossroads of Istanbul."