Frenzy is a Turkish political thriller (and it was also the winner of the Special Jury Prize at the 2015 Venice Film Festival), set against a blood-stained backdrop of political violence in Istanbul. Pungent clouds of smoke rise into the humid air as we listen in, and a malicious network prepares to attack. As history shows us, it’s all too easy to imagine the riot police with their cans of tear gas at the ready, aiming down the sights directly at the hundreds of protesters; it’s the age-old battle of guns versus words. Frenzy rises on the wind, its imminent danger picked up in the scent of the breeze that drifts in from the other townships and the discontented suburbs.
Gripped by violence – and the threat of it – the state authorizes the use of underground techniques in hunting and combating terrorists who are nesting in the shantytowns that surround the city. Suspicions are rife in the music, and at times the rhythms seem to fight against each other; rifts are opened up between the two, brotherly elements of the music. At the same time, brothers Kadir and Ahmet discover that friends can become enemies as a suspicious, jumpy mind disintegrates. There’s a great amount of subterfuge within the soundtrack, of constant defence and attack.
Istanbul’s Cevdet Erek plays out a vicious game of chess specifically designed for the wounded world.
Two differing sides, each one considering the other an enemy, are preparing to do battle; two differing ideologies going head-to-head. The sound artist is known for his installation work and often uses sounds that contain architectural elements. And his soundtrack to Frenzy shudders like a building made out of steel bones, architecturally dense and throbbing – thriving – in its cold state of being.
Self-defending blocks of beats punch out against counter attacking basslines, its cold stare a potentially lethal combination of uncaring thought and determined action. The bass cuts up, pummeling the air around it, coating everything in dust and noise. The film has its own subliminal message of social paranoia, and gradually the listener becomes wrapped up in it as the music plays on. It has a debilitating influence on the mind. Narcotic rhythms kick the fight-or-flight response off the radar with not so much of a well-practiced martial art move but more of a horrific Mortal Kombat fatality. The adrenaline skyrockets, despite there only being two pieces of music. The calculating rhythms reflect a chase or some kind of climax. There’s a finality to the fight, and the ending of its intense, tiring onslaught.