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Baker's Dozen

Free, Open Spaces: Brian Eno's Favourite Records
William Doyle , April 13th, 2016 10:00

Before he releases his new album The Ship, the composer, producer and artist gives William Doyle a tour of some of his favourite records and tracks, reflecting on how they've shaped his own approach to music


Arif Sag – Umut
Actually you'll hear that a lot of my choices, I realise, are to do with singing and people whose singing styles just so engaged me. I was walking past a kebab shop in North London and I heard this song, and this singer just made my stomach go funny. So I went into the shop and said, "What are you playing?" and what he was playing was one of those CDs with about a thousand MP3s on them. I asked him what track it was and he didn't know. I thought, "I must find this singer", so I said, "Can I buy the record from you?" He didn't want to sell it, you see, because it was the only music they had in the shop. So I gave him £55 for it. He saw a sucker [laughs]. So I got this CD and I went through track after track after track, and I finally find the song, but of course there were no names or anything because it was just a burnt CD. So I went back into the shop with one of my ghetto blasters and said, "Okay, this is the song, what is it?" He didn't know so I asked him if he knew anyone that would know so he said, "Well, I'll ring my dad." So I'm holding it up to the phone and his dad is down the other end and he says, "Oh well that's Belkis Akkale, obviously."

She's singing here on the last track of this album ('Ötüşün Kuşlar') by a songwriter called Arif Sag. There's three great singers on this track and Belkis Akkale comes first. It's very interesting hearing the difference between their three voices. It's like a glossary of contemporary Turkish singing. Her voice is the one that does it for me. The other two don't have the erotic wobble that she has.