The new extended play (EP) of Nasip Kısmet, the ethnic-jazz outfit that Turkish-born musician Arif Erdem Ocak formed in 2020, is out now and available on digital platforms. The 3-song self-titled EP comprises rather sophisticated versions of some classics of the genre.
The title of the band and their new EP can be translated as serendipity in the closest meaning. The word serendipity is the best way to describe this international band’s authentic, multi-genre music. In the band’s productions, an ancient folk melody turns into a psychedelic outburst by a sudden chord progression, then eases into a mild jazz-fusion breeze by a touch of masterful musicianship.
Nasip Kısmet is the brainchild of Ocak – a resident of Budapest, Hungary since 2010 – best-known as a founding member and co-songwriter of the famed Ankara band Seksendört that topped charts in the 2000s with consecutive hits. After moving to Budapest to pursue a solo music career, he focused on the deep repertoire of old and contemporary Turkish folk music, interpreting it through his unique vocal style as well as his trademark hammer-on and pull-of, percussive guitar technique. Live renditions of this material earned Ocak a loyal following and quickly made him a staple in the Hungarian live music scene. His special interest in ancient Anatolian mysticism and philosophy led the versatile musician to explore the poetry and songs of the era with a multi-instrumental approach.
He founded Nasip Kısmet with fellow high-caliber musicians including Cem Aksel on drums, Daniel Mester on saxophone and clarinet and Marton Eged on bass guitar. After Aksel moved back home to Istanbul, David Szego and Tomi Smuk joined the band on drums and percussion respectively, and the live line-up was completed by Derya Ocak’s addition on backing vocals. The band’s currently rehearsing for the recording of their full-length, planned for release later this year.