Automaton² [Automaton Square, San Francisco Miami Impressions] (Clou Records Clou-005, Peacework Music, 2005)
With Automaton², his newest album, Murat goes on telling musical stories of his
impressions what he dubs as ‘the timeless and boundless context of civilization’ since early 90s.
This fourth solo album of Murat Ses comes up with new electronic, dance, ambient world
songs which also have the hallmark of his legendary fusion style known as Anadolu
Pop (Grand Prix du Disque in Paris, France, back then in early 70s) and
Electric Levantine (a more refined form of Anadolu Pop from 90s thru today). The
album has great cover artwork byÖpBe, who also redesigned the artwork of
Murat’s former albums released by Clou Records.
All tracks were composed during and following Murat’s stays in the U.S.A, predominantly
in California and Florida. Some of the tracks have cross-over elements of Turkish,
Japanese and Native American percussion styles in a new approach.
One of my favorite tracks Eau Gallie was composed when Murat was in Melbourne,
Central Florida, during the hurricane ‘Michelle’; impressions of the beautiful Eau Gallie
river, where once Seminole warriors and hunters paddled by. Another example, Polk
Street displays aural impressions of the artist after his stay in one of his
favorite cities in the world next to Istanbul (San Francisco). Street sounds, cable car
and other hallmarks of the beautiful city that has certain similarities to Istanbul,
Murat’s environment where he grew up. Multicultural musical influences stressing Chinese
and other cultures as one walks thru Polk Street from South to North…
As for Miami impressions, Valle Marineris 2 has street noises and other typical
sounds of Miami, Indian Creek has Seminole and additional Istanbul sounds of the
1910’s and 20’s. According to CD’s booklet, this track was composed after a nice day
around Indian Creek in Miami.
Pagangora, Yoruk, Hattushili and Great Weekend are other
brilliant crossovers of Turkish and Native American music traditions.
Most important, musically thread, Murat tries to stress is, the historical migrations
from Central Asia over the Behring Strait and strong cultural affinities (such as
linguistic, shamanic, musical) between Turkic and Native American cultures as a result
of this long historical journey. Native American influences, all flowing into Murat’s
unique Turkic traditions with a great finesse, make his sound unique. Melodies,
percussion, human voice in Native American and Turkic traditions as well as Inuit and
Anatolian nomadic music traditions make ‘the sound’.
Regarding civilization and culture, Murat’s point of view is a very special one, looking
at and beyond the contemporary issues in a way that’s neither orientalistic nor
occidentalistic. In this approach, there would be no ‘clash of cultures’, since
we all are ‘one and same thing’. Maybe we are conceiving the whole ‘one’ matter from different
perspectives and we believe that we are seeing and experiencing
differing matters as it is in the newest explanations of the so-called ‘String
What listeners of Murat’s music would most likely agree with me is, his keeping of the
‘human touch’ although using synthesizers and other electronic sounds. This
possibly comes from his predominantly ‘live’ playing on his micro-tuned synths
during recording sessions, from the vibrant vitality of his field recordings and last
but not least from the way he handles all this material. A great album to experience !