Anatolian-inflected art-pop and indie-electronica duo Yolcu are poised to announce their debut release with the arrival of ‘ A Hunter and the Prey’ due this September. Lifted from the pair’s forthcoming EP ‘In Stream’, the accompanying video fuses the track’s atmospheric and propulsive electronica with a meditative, exploratory landscape, offering a perfect embodiment of delicate melodies and triumphant song craft.
They detail the track: “A Hunter and the Prey is about becoming a part of a system, and how that process consumes and changes a person. It’s the way in which money, profit and industrialisation can slowly affect peoples’ personalities, like a psychological or physical sickness. It’s the enveloping relationship between employees and their employers; a hunter and it’s prey. In time, this system becomes their world.”
Yolcu first met in 2017 while studying sonic arts in Istanbul. It was an interest in the musical heritage of each other’s country that brought Dağ Taş (TR) and Joe Conchie (UK) together. Their outside perspectives helped ignite in the other an enthusiasm for the richness of their own musical cultures. Dağ, hailing from the frantic metropolis Istanbul, a lifelong fan of the British alternative scene, and Joe, from the sparsely populated, pastoral Northumberland, moved by the sound and emotion of Turkish folk music.
Before meeting, Dağ had an alternative indie rock project ‘Golden Horn’, while Joe was composing and performing folk music and producing electronic music. From 2017, Dağ took up bağlama, a Turkish folk instrument, and Joe started to compose and produce music in the vein of British electronica. During their studies they also immersed themselves in experimental approaches to sound creation and manipulation, composing and performing electro- acoustic music around Istanbul.
The excitement of bringing these musical worlds together birthed Yolcu. With songs that reflect the existential yearnings of Anatolian folk music and with an emotional authenticity summoned from the soul of the land around them, Dağ’s powerful baritone voice, ornamented with Turkish microtonal tuning, wraps around Joe’s twisted synth lines and productions, creating a unique blend of folk-inflected modern electronica and pop. Many of their songs feature bağlama and use the voice as an instrument, which, although they directly call upon the spirit of the region, are employed in a non-traditional way.
When they formed the project, Dağ and Joe set up their studio under Mount Ida, home of several Greek myths, on the Aegean Coast of Turkey. By the sea and under a mountain, inspired by the place and its isolation, there they spent many fruitful periods of time experimenting, composing and refining their sound, all the while cementing their friendship and creative partnership. This significant stage was the genesis all of Yolcu’s music and identity, and the location continues to be their home for the project.