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Cagri Raydemir
Cagri Raydemir

WE REVIEW THE NEW EP FROM CAGRI RAYDEMIR – BLACK OR WHITE

The assiduous Cagri Raydemir never stops making music. It was only last September that the Germany-based multi-instrumentalist release the captivatingly bizarre EP – Shortage of Identity – a wily and creatively brazen project that despite its flaws was a compelling collection of songs.

Raydemir loves suspense. Disjointed arpeggios and scales that never quite lead where you’d expect are commonplace in much of his progressively-tinged music. It’s a mixed blessing – it can intrigue as much as it can grow wearisome.

Many of these pros and cons that were present on Shortage of Identity remain with this latest EP Black and White. Enjoy one project and you’ll likely enjoy the other. But in general, Black and White is the tighter and more cohesive set of songs.

‘Canary in a Coal Mine’ is both portentous and overwrought. The addition of distant and complex percussion draws parallels to bands like Tool while Raydemir brings a melodramatic buoyancy to proceedings.

Songs feel like they’ve been pulled from the ether and dragged through the dirt. ’Undeniable Manifestation’ – a name that sounds like it should be written on a folder under the heading ‘highly confidential’ – opens with a growling trumpet call courtesy of Julian Hesse. In the song’s latter moments, he returns to perform with all the chaotic guts of a bebop virtuoso.

That’s the thing with Raydemir, he’s unafraid to introduce different sounds within his trademark eeriness. Folk musician Salih Korkut Peker guests on this EP too, playing the Cümbüş, a stringed instrument from Turkey.

The wider audible palette is welcome. Perhaps it’s fatigue, perhaps its over-repetition. Either way, by the third song – ‘False Certainty’ – the concept of being a bit mysterious is taken to a somewhat exhausting level. Being this consumed by mystery, you begin to question whether that mystery is ever getting solved.

Things improve with the closing track ‘Justifiable Hands to Play,’ with the addition of backing vocals and synthesised strings. It’s an enormous production but everything remains pleasantly balanced.

So Raydemir’s latest enigmatic voyage ends happily. It’s a consistent set of songs, despite being fatiguing at times. If you like music that has a hint of the unknown, this is a project to be enjoyed with bated-breath.

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