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Asia Minor: Crossing the Line

Asia Minor is a Franco-Turkish symphonic progressive rock band formed in Paris the mid-late 70’s by the Turkish musicians Setrak Bakirel on lead vocals, guitars and bass, and Eril Tekeli on flute, guitars, and bass. They were later joined by Lionel Beltrami on drums and percussion, and Nick Vicente on keyboards. Crossing the Line is their debut studio album, originally released in 1979 and now being reissued more than forty years later by Italian label AMS Records.

The music on this album is very melancholic and sometimes mysterious sounding, with notorious flute parts, perfectly supported by a young but tight rhythmic section, and embellished at parts by soulful vocals, both in English and Turkish. It is mostly instrumental and has a lot of resemblance to a heavier Camel, a more psychedelic Focus, and a less bluesy Jethro Tull, somehow managing to keep that same sound from the golden years (early 70’s) of the genre. Little unknown perhaps because they came into the picture a little late, but thankfully brought back to us from obscurity so we can discover and enjoy their great music.

Their compositions are quite intricate, with the first part of the album being almost flute-led on the melodic side, and the second half with a stronger electric guitar-keyboards duo presence, very early Genesis-like in the softer and mellower parts, and flares of King Crimson when they aim at the more furious moments, a delightful mix indeed. The songs I enjoyed the most are the opener “Preface”, “Mahzun Gözler”, “Visions”, and “Hayal Dolu Günler Için” … the outstanding flute work, the great drumming, and the beautiful vocalization make them unquestionable highlights for me. A very mature debut, supposedly surpassed in quality by their sophomore album… short from being a masterpiece, Crossing the Line is still a great album and its content should appeal to any music lover that cherishes the classic prog sound and is always searching for rarities and underdogs of the genre. Recommended, cheers.

Track list:
  1. Preface (4:18)
  2. Mahzun Gözler (8:13)
  3. Mystic Dance (1:45)
  4. Misfortune (4:30)
  5. Landscape (3:50)
  6. Visions (5:35)
  7. Without Stir (1:50)
  8. Hayal Dolu Günler Için (4:38)
  9. Postface (2:00)

Added: February 1st 2023
Reviewer: Jose Antonio Marmol
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 383
Language: english

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