Ekin Fil - Maps LP
Label: Helen Scarsdale Agency
Ekin Fil continues her quietly complex dream-pop oeuvre on Maps. For many years now, this Istanbul musician has been writing mysterious and haunting songs, rich in heavy-reverb effects and an introspective torpor. With each successive album, her songwriting has blossomed through broader instrumentation and more intricate melodic phrasing, though the somber atmospherics and ghostly manifestations remain a judicious constant. Minor-key, tear-stained notes of piano, organ, and guitar veer along elliptical orbits as a soft-whisper lilt of Ekin’s voice narrates more by emotive decree than by literary couplet.
Maps addresses the distance and dislocation of the self from the bustling center of Istanbul, where Ekin FIl (neé Ekin Üzeltüzenci) had once called her home. Having spent her first winter on a relatively quiet island in the Sea of Marmara (while still in the greater metropolitan umbrella of Istanbul), Maps is “lonely, different, kind of isolated,” according to Ekin, who also noted that the island had “too much silence around. There is no other choice but to concentrate, I guess.” Her poetics of silence on her previous recordings had been noted as an antidote or a dream capsule of sound in response to Istanbul’s cauldron of politics, culture, and philosophy that has been boiling almost since the beginning of civilization. Maps bends that maritime silence into wind-swept smudges that complement her already spacious compositions.
The saddest songs of The Durutti Column excised of rhythm and those few plunges into sorrow by Harold Budd make for apt comparisons to Maps, in addition to the drone-on classics of Grouper, Slowdive, and Sarah Davachi.