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WE REVIEW THE NEW EP FROM CAGRI RAYDEMIR – SHORTAGE OF IDENTITY

Cagri Raydemir must love music to be this prolific. The Germany based musician, who takes care of the lyrics, vocals, instrumentals, programming, arranging, recording, mixing and mastering on each of his projects, has just released his new EP Shortage of Identity. It is his fifth since 2010, accompanying his twelve LPs in as many years.

However, a musician so dedicated is often left burnt-out. The foundation behind much of Raydemir’s music has remained the same over these twelve years. That said he is a unique writer – leaning towards the progressive rock genre with a particular ear for discordance and angular melodies that growl from speakers with a bitingly antagonistic tone.

This is no more present than on opening cut ‘Distorted View About Oneself’ – with its eery descending guitar passages interspersed by disjoint chords that ring high over the mix. The entire track is underpinned by a muted rhythm guitar with all the menace of a Roger Waters theatrical extravaganza.

The song is wildly capricious and instrumentally broad with the inclusion of intermittent hand drums. But for all its admirable qualities, there are moments when the density of Raydemir’s songwriting is cluttered. The instrumentals are not the tightest. When accompanied by the occasionally thinly recorded guitars things can get a touch messy.

Take the EP’s second track ‘Unscripted Surrender.’ Besides possessing a title that Matt Bellamy would most likely greet with tears of joy, the enormous palette of sounds is both colourful and incongruently mixed. The latter half’s lead guitar is backed by an audible typhoon that detracts from what is a well performed solo.



The track also features the EP’s lone guest Salih Korkut Peker. He’s a welcome addition as the music begins to dissolve any boundaries between western and eastern melodies. It exemplifies the vastness of ideas present on this EP – one that probably possesses an album’s worth of material within its four songs. It’s a simultaneous positive – such a quality leads to an impressive level of compositional complexity, and a negative – on multiple occasions there’s so much happening it becomes disorientating.

‘Infallible Evaluation’ continues down this rabbit hole with string arrangements and tempo changes. With this it is impossible not to admire Raydemir’s willingness to experiment with every sound available, regardless of how often each experiment baffles.

‘Remember to Recenter’ closes this EP strongly. The bleakly foreboding riffs are recorded with gumption and the song’s build feels organic. Raydemir’s released a chaotic project here that inspires and infuriates. But its undeniably madcap songwriting is worthy of attention due to a vehement appreciation of excess and unadulterated grandeur.