Baraná & Ceyl’an Ertem | “Warmblooded and breathtaking” (De Volkskrant)
“Why would it not be possible to reach a younger audience with world music, wondered Steven Kamperman and Behsat Üvez. So they decided for the next incarnation of their group Baraná to look for musicians that could be of assistance.
Sampled loops and beats formed the starting point for a series of compositions with Istanbul as binding motif. This metropole symbolizes for both men a crossroads between tradition and modernity, where East meets West. But there is no case of false romanticism here, because also the decision by the city government to order the destruction of the gypsy quarter Sulukule is brought to a piece.
The project Xenopolis with wich Baraná is now touring the country, is characterized by contemporary and danceable grooves, but with an insidious undercurrent of rhythmic complexity. For example, Sebastian Demydczuk presented an impressive drum solo in nine-eight, assisted by Üvez on darbouka (vase drum) and Ernst Reijseger, who beat the rhythm on the body of his cello.
Even rock guitarist Jeff Sopacua appears to have no problem at all with the exotic rhythms, witnessed by his effortlessly funky accents and biting solos. When Reijseger swaps his classical cello for an electric one and then plays it as if it were an electric bass, there is in fact a modern rock band standing on stage, except for Behsat’s baglama (Turkish long-necked lute)
A big surprise in Xenopolis is the Turkish singer Ceylan Ertem, found by chance on MySpace. The clip Panik Atak, which she inimitably sings all her phobias and fears, brought Üvez Kamperman to ask her for this project. Her participation involves some complications, because she is afraid of flying, and therefore has to travel five days from Istanbul to the Netherlands by car. Luckily, she does not suffer from fear on stage, and in terms of charisma and musical whimsy she can effortlessly compete with someone like singer Björk. In addition, she has the voice command of a classically trained singer, without compelling herself to any kind of straitjacket. Her voice went from chilling heights through warm-blooded middle registers and seductive cooing to the gritty depths of the Central Asian throat singing, thanks to an impeccable microphone technique and the use of some effect equipment. Despite the seeming madness with which she sometimes shouts, she performs everything with extreme precision.
Individual talent is no guarantee for a good group performance, but thanks to an unmistakable mutual click, these six musicians drive each other, and thus the whole, to great heights, with a series of breathtaking moments as a result.”
De Volkskrant *****, by Ton Maas (13. 12. 2011)