Sababa 5 have demonstrated their special blend of Middle Eastern psych, funk and disco over a course of eights 45s for Batov Records, a collaborative EP with singer Shiran Tzfira, and an acclaimed self-titled album, receiving plaudits from the likes of BBC radio legends Gilles Peterson and Gideon Coe.
Hot off the back of extended instrumental faze, covering their self-titled debut album, that drew comparisons to the Menahan Street Band, and a pair of essential 45s overflowing with funk, Sababa 5 hit the studio to cut a pair of killer songs with Turkish synth, electro and alternative pop sensation Canay Doğan.
Currently a member of the Jazz Department at Istanbul University, Canay has been releasing her own songs since 2021. Known for her versatility not only as a singer but across keyboards, drums and percussion, she can be seen accompanying many artists on vocals and keyboards.
The collaboration came about after Canay heard Sababa 5’s “Nasmusa”, delving deeper and noting the similarities with Turkish music she reached out to suggest they work together. Compounded by Sababa 5 already having a presence in Turkey, it was meant to be.
Dreamy and melancholic synths meet gritty funk rhythms on “Bigâne”. According to Canay, the song addresses issues around depressions about the relative meaninglessness of life, the emptiness of so many questions and answers, and the “variability of the truth”.
The urgent music of “Namdar” backs a paean to the fakeness of most friendships, and empty daily questions such as “how are you?”, and how many so-called friends are in truth jealous and bitter.
The deep and searching questions of Canay’s lyrics give weight to the beautiful vocals that almost float over Sababa 5’s compelling grooves. “Bigâne” and “Namdar” add another deadly string to Sababa 5’s bow and are essential grooves destined for DJs’ 45 boxes and discerning listeners’ playlists.