- The Sun Is Parallel
- Planisphere Editorial
- Catalogue Number
- Release Date
- November 11, 2022
At the heart of ‘The Sun Is Parallel’, the debut album from Swiss-Turkish musician Mehmet Aslan, is a heartfelt search for universality. It’s no mean feat in a world and a time in which conflict and division can sometimes seem so powerful as to render old myths about ‘the power of music’ as naive.
Nonetheless, with roots across continents and a devotion to records and alternative musical cultures spanning decades, Aslan has delivered an album rich in the ingredients that allow us - dancers, listeners, collectors - to once again taste the possibility of something different. Spanning diverse tempos and styles, from frazzled electronics for open-minded dancefloors to cinematic instrumental passages, ‘The Sun Is Parallel’ finds a devoted producer at his most considered and sensitive, whether it's solo, with his live band drummer Alican Tezer and guitarist Daniel Pankau, or in collaboration with esteemed artists such as Valentina Magaletti and Niño De Elche.
To claim this common ground, Aslan squints to look up to the sun. Unmistakably depicted on the colourful cover of the album, as well as inspiring its intriguing title, the groove and atmosphere of Aslan’s compositions take place beneath the glare of an element none of us can deny. Each of the eleven tracks throughout the LP’s illuminating journey is accompanied by an individualized, specially designed symbol, perfectly aligning musical and visuals to create a new shared language.
Driven by questions related to the fluidity of his own identity, as well as the unusual stretch of time the past years have provided to investigate oneself, ‘The Sun Is Parallel’ is informed by musical movements from Sun Ra to hauntology. The record’s cosmic, intuitive mood is evident immediately from opening salvo ‘Fountain’, leading into ‘Domo’, a tapestry of knotty drums against a backdrop of guitar licks reminiscent of a Morricone score.
The fervent acid funk of ‘Rowndbass Acid’ releases the endorphins associated with Aslan’s many hours stood in the DJ booth, but ‘If I Can Belong Anywhere’ pulls the rug back into more searching territory, a beautiful but melancholy drone displaced with thundering drums. “What you’ve got to remember”, intones the voice of James Baldwin, “is that everyone you’re looking at is also you.”
Aslan underscores his belief in human, creative connection with two collaborative pieces central to the vision of ‘The Sun Is Parallel’. Alongside the Spanish-born singer Niño de Elche, ‘Tangerine’ delves into flamenco inspiration for a searing mini-epic that unfurls like the peel of its namesake, before bottling the groove and virtuoso guitar for a near-instrumental accompaniment, ‘Tangerine Sun’, the most subtle of acid lines nudging back toward the dancefloor.
‘Garden’ features the contribution of Valentina Magaletti, one of the finest drummers playing in the world today. Known for her work alongside Nicolas Jaar, Thurston Moore and as part of the band Vanishing Twin, Magaletti’s sensitive, hyper-detailed percussion blends with Aslan’s elegiac synthesized atmosphere to paint a sonic picture of a mysterious oasis.
At the LP’s conclusion, Aslan loops both musically and thematically back to the philosophical crux of ‘The Sun Is Parallel’, ending with the humane glitch of ‘Everyone Is Also You’. It’s a hopeful note, recalling another of the thoughtful vocal samples buried within Aslan’s evocative and hopeful instrumental passages.
“In a way, the world is a huge musical composition, going on all the time, without a beginning, and presumably, without an ending”, considers Canadian composer & environmentalist R. Murray Schaefer on ‘Private Soundscape’. “We can improve it or we can destroy it… That’s all up to us.”
Credits Written, Produced & Mixed by Mehmet Aslan Vocals on track 05 by Niño de Elche Drums & Percussion on track 08 by Valentina Magaletti Album guitars by Daniel Pankau Additional album drums by Alican Tezer Mastered by Enyang Urbiks Art Direction by Mehmet Aslan
- 1 Fountain 1:41 Buy
- 2 Domo 6:40 Buy
- 3 Rowndbass Acid 4:50 Buy
- 4 If I Can Belong Anywhere 3:40 Buy
- 5 Tangerine ft. Niño de Elche 4:15 Buy
- 6 Tangerine Sun 5:19 Buy
- 7 There Is No Such Thing As Herkunft 2:10 Buy
- 8 Garden ft. Valentina Magaletti 4:25 Buy
- 9 Private Soundscape 2:07 Buy
- 10 Kakusui 5:50 Buy
- 11 Everyone Is Also You 1:49 Buy