Jakuzi - Hata Payı - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Jakuzi - Hata Payı

by Joseph Majsterski Rating:7 Release Date:2019-04-05
Jakuzi - Hata Payı
Jakuzi - Hata Payı

Jakuzi is a synthpop duo from Istanbul, Turkey comprising vocalist Kutay Soyocak and electronic wizard Taner Yücel. They dropped their debut album, Fantezi Müzik (literally "Fantasty Music", but also "Extravaganza"), in 2017. Now they're back with Hata Payı (literally "A Part of the Mistake", but also "Tolerance"). I'm very sad that I don't speak Turkish, because I can't understand the lyrics to these songs. But I find them so catchy that I'm constantly trying to sing along, which just ends up as a sort of nonsense babbling or humming. I was able to run the titles through a translator though to at least get a general sense of what is going on, and they seem to point towards what you'd expect from this style: pensive meditations on love and relationships.

I was just a bit too young to really experience the 80s in the proper way, namely, as a lovelorn teenager, but this album puts me right there. It's somewhere between basically every synthpop band of that era and The Smiths, minus the vocals. The opening track, 'Sana Göre Bir Şey Yok' ("Nothing for You"), is incredibly strong, and is one of the songs that is completely stuck in my head. It combines foundational synth bass with airy synth strings and ghostly guitars to create a haunting song. It's near-gothic, like a more electronic The Cure track.

Some of the tracks lack staying power and become tiresome though. 'Kendine Rağmen' works off a slightly psych-flavored organ, but ends up being too plodding upon repeated listens. 'Gördüğüm Rüya' ("The Dream I See") is also a bit on the slow side. But even these songs somehow work in the context of the album as a whole, since it oftentimes feels like you're listening to the soundtrack of a John Hughes film and seeing dramatic movie scenes in your mind.

The best song on the album is definitely 'Yangın' ("Fire"). It strikes a perfect chord of yearning optimism. The synths are some of the most upbeat, with a particular melodic progression and backing singing that sound straight off Depeche Mode's Speak and Spell. Soyocak's vocals here are evocative and rich, like a Turkish Peter Murphy. I cannot get enough of this tune! It's one of the very best things I've heard all year.

Another song that comes in hot is 'Kalbim Köprü Gibi' ("My Heart is Like a Bridge"), which rides a wonderful, driving synthline with delicate guitar accents and is one of the more uplifting tunes in the set. 'Hâlâ Berbat' ("Still Wretched"), takes things back in a more reflective, high school prom slow dance direction. The closer, 'Ne Teselli Ne Avuntu' ("What Comfort What Solace"), is super solid too. The heavyweight, pulsing synths, sounding more modern than most of the music on offer, remind me of Röyksopp.

Anyone who lived through the 80s on any level will feel this set deep in their soul. The more you experienced that time, the stronger it will resonate with you, I suspect. There are lots of albums and bands that use the instrumentation and sensibilities of that era, but few bands manage to so perfectly embody the spirit of the age like Jakuzi do.

Check out the video for 'Yangın', which includes a translation of the lyrics.

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