My love affair with Turkish psychedelic pop and funky progressive rock developed over time.

First came the chance discovery of a Turkish television music-library record sitting in a New York music store's basement. "Not for sale," the owner said with a laugh as he played me some of the most vicious jazz-rock I'd ever heard. (Later, I confirmed that the "Nathan Davis" listed on the record's label was indeed the Pittsburgh-based saxophonist, which further intrigued me.) Then came the whispers of hip-hop producer J. Dilla sampling the Turkish jam-rock heroes in Moğollar. But I'll never forget the feeling that swept over me as I grasped the cover of the mustachioed maestro Barış Manço's "Gonul Dagi" seven-inch and listened to some of the deepest, funkiest music to ever grace a record's grooves.

Its sonic quality reminded me of a mid-'70s David Axelrod production. Its melodies, filtered from the Anatolian countryside into Istanbul over centuries, sounded perfectly at home when played on a Moog synthesizer. Manço's passable tenor invited comparison to French icon Serge Gainsbourg, while his Ottoman ensemble — pictured on the single's picture sleeve — suggested a flair for the outrageous. Enveloped by the sublime feeling of standing on the edge of a precipice and deciding to jump or meekly back away, I threw myself into Manço's career with abandon.

Spanning nearly four decades, Manço's oeuvre could compel a record collector to purchase a one-way ticket to Ankara in the hopes of uncovering rarities like his Dünden Bugüne, a white whale of a Turkish psych album if ever there was one. Many of Manço's peers — Erkin Koray, Edip Akbayram, Ozdemir Erdogan, Cem Karaca and Ersen Dinletin among them — were Turkish rock innovators in the '70s. But they didn't release such a wide variety of music, nor have they been so celebrated by their own (and other) cultures in the decades since. This sampling below — taken from the early- to mid-'70s portion of Manço's career, when he was most clearly under the spell of psychedelic and progressive rock — helps demonstrate his genius.

Link to the show 5 Songs from the Zenith of Turkish Funk

Link to the seriesEgon's Funk Archaeology on NPR