Saadet Türköz & Beat Keller – We are Strong (Chinabot, MC/digital)

The label Chinabot, run by Saphy Vong, is unpredictable, to say the least. Hectic club beats, gruelling sound art or even folkloristic sounds—on an average of two releases per month, the London-based imprint is home to an unusually broad stylistic range. This is also due to the fact that Vong curates it less according to strictly predefined musical aspects, but rather attaches importance to the representation and inclusion of perspectives from Asian countries and the global diaspora. But the quality does not suffer, quite the opposite: hardly any contemporary label has so many exciting releases to offer. »We Are Strong« is one of the many highlights of the last four years. On it, Saadet Türköz meets the Swiss guitarist Beat Keller, who puts his expressive playing entirely at the service of the performance of the experimental musician and singer. Türköz's vocal presence has the urgency of colleagues like Audrey Chen or Amirtha Kidambi, but is rooted in places in the musical traditions of the Uyghurs, from whom Türköz, who grew up in Turkey, descends. Each of the seven songs, which range from free jazz to real-time music, is named after a city in East Turkestan in today's Xinjiang. The combination of free improvisation and elements of Kazakh and Turkish folklore thus takes on a political dimension that is given a memorable aesthetic expression.