What Nekropsi bring with them is the weight of importance. While they are not an enormous commercial proposition, tonight the atmosphere in Salon IKSV is heavy with anticipation; the kind of excitement before a show I haven’t felt before in Istanbul. The black cube of the venue is packed, the painfully hip crowd keenly emoting in hushed tones. If you are interested in such things, a major show by Nekropsi is a seriously ‘cool’ event, and Şişhane is buzzing.
For (non-Turkish) reference, Tool, The Mars Volta, Lighning Bolt and King Crimson all loom large, but Nekropsi’s musical and conceptual appeal lies mainly in an utterly intense amalgamation of Math rock and a strain of classical Arabesque, and despite their gravity, these four men clad in black t-shirts and jeans are actually having a great time with other. The band’s oblique publicity and presentation is also key – nothing is obvious, there is no ‘frontman’, and the gig feels truly democratic.
The four members stand in the four corners of the stage, a gaping hole in the centre where (presumably) the music lives. It’s an inspired, enigmatic approach, reminiscent of Pavement or Talking Heads in their most media-shy moments. The call and response barks of brothers Cem (guitar) and Cev (drums) hammer home the fact that lyrics, or vocals themselves, are simply another weapon in the arsenal, and in fact making Nekropsi a truly international band – there are few linguistic codes to untangle here; just righteous, tight, liquid intensity.
There point-precise playing holds the crowd captivated, and by the time signature tune ‘Erciyes Nokta’ eventually kicks in , any doubters are left gobsmacked – effortless victory through a relationship of demand.