March 2017 I received an email from Turkey. Was interested in reviewing an album from a band which named themselves Aqua Talk. A Turkish rock band which was formed at the end of 2015 by three members who are all students from different universities in Istanbul. Their names are Berkay Koksal (drums, percussion), Bugay Akyuz (bass, voices) and Sarp Ogun (guitar, keyboards, midi foot pedals). They see themselves as an experimental progressive rock band.
Their debut Whatever Tickles Your Mind was originally released as a download only July 2016. It seems that the album due to financial restrictions was recorded in the bands own rehearsal studio over a day, with vocals recorded in the producer's studio a couple days later. The review copy I got almost one half year later I received on a real compact disc. So it seems they finally managed to get it out as a physical release.
Whatever Tickles Your Mind has seven tracks and opens with the longest track available. At first Dead Man's Dream doesn't show much of a progressive rock band, but after almost 4 minutes the rather mainstream sounding composition turns into something beautiful. It is mainly Sarp Ogun's electric guitar parts who are responsible for a real progressive rock sound. His way of guitar playing moves very much towards a style which is similar of Pink Floyd's David Gilmour. From that moment on the songs stay in the progressive rock mode and many times the Pink Floyd influences come to the surface. Something which I like a lot. Not only the guitar parts but also the organ and synthesizer sounds have references with this act. Also parts of Deep Purple's Child In Time can be heard on Tales Of Old. Mainly the way they play the parts on the organ made me think about this great hard rock tune released originally in 1970. The album has almost 45 minutes of music and what the band offers throughout the album is certainly worth listening.
However you still can hear that the band has a lot to learn music wise. Although the compositions often sound very strong, you can hear they could have come to a better result. When you think they come to a great musical climax they bring the song to an abrupt ending. This is a crying shame. But I blame it on their young ages for not yet coming up with real professional sounding tracks which can compete with most international progressive rock acts. Don't get me wrong the band certainly has potential. Which they show many times, but it could have been so much better in the end.
Hopefully will they show this on their second release. They already started the writing sessions for this album October 2016, and are they planning to release their second album around the summer of 2017. If they read my remarks and learned from them I am certain they will come up with an even better album than their debut. They can certainly be very proud with what they have achieved on their debut, even more if you know the way the album was recorded! So thumbs up for Aqua Talk!
***+ Henri Strik (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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