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About Minor Empire:
An electrifying new sound has exploded onto the Canadian world music scene. Toronto-based ensemble Minor Empire has released a debut album, Second Nature, which is deservedly creating a major buzz. The group has forged a style that is simultaneously contemporary and traditional, adventurous yet accessible.
Minor Empire is the brainchild of guitarist/composer/producer Ozan Boz and vocalist Ozgu Ozman. After mining modern, Western accented music in their earlier group, the trip-hop inflected Auxetic Pulse, this dynamic duo turned to the music of their homeland for fresh inspiration. Minor Empire and Second Nature is the superb outcome.
Ozan stresses that their style isn’t a fusion of Turkish and Western music, but the result of both a collision and confluence of these disparate elements. Based on traditional Turkish tunes, given new and contemporary life by Ozan Boz's adventurous arrangements, Ozgu’s enchanting vocals, and the empathetic accompaniment of a stellar cast of supporting players. Montreal-based musicians Ismail Hakki Fencioglu (oud) and Didem Basar (kanun) and Torontonians Debashis Sinha (co-founder of noted indo-jazz band Autorickshaw, he plays darbuka, bendir, and asma davul) and Sidar Demirer (saz) ) excel on these traditional Turkish instruments.
Reaction to Second Nature since its release has been wildly enthusiastic, beginning with the official CD launch with a full house at Toronto world music hub Lula Lounge. Alan Davis, head of Small World Music Society, wrote that “Minor Empire’s CD release concert was an impressive affair all around. Musically sophisticated and well-played, they also demonstrated their ability to draw the community and a broader audience together.”
“I love how their sound blurs the lines between electronic and traditional Turkish music,” declared Errol Nazareth.
Exclaim!’s David Dacks called the record “a slinky, dub-y Turkish soup of knotty rhythms,” while The Wholenote reviewer Tiina Kiik called Minor Empire “a smart band creating intriguing sounds and melodies set to a backdrop of funky beats.”