Jalaluddin Gerd Rebler, Chairman of the Royal Ottoman Society in Ludwigshafen, is dead at 74. Rebler’s ambition was to unite Sufi Islam with high German culture, working towards a  sense of spiritual renewal, which he felt was underway in Germany. He died on 27 December, leaving behind a wife and two stepchildren and having touched countless individuals with his intelligence and ...

A boy cries out in Dari, exulting over the body of a dead soldier, followed by rapid snare drums approximating gunfire. So begins Kabul Fire 2, Farhot’s second album to date, which he describes as a “voyage to (Afghanistan) my country of origin.” Kabul Fire 2 artfully blends deftly crafted beats, piano playing, Afghani folkloristic samples with vocal clips culled from ...

With club life coming to a grinding halt in 2020, radio has regained some of its importance. This might be one reason why over the last year the small internet radio station THF radio grew from a one-off affair into a regular program that is now streaming from Wednesday to Sunday. With an impressive variety of themes and hosts, THF ...

Altın Gün have a new musical direction. Just as we were getting used to their flanged-out, groove-charged restylings of Anatolian rock and folk numbers , the Dutch sextet has taken a radically new tack, injecting  a heavy dose of European electronica into their revamped Turkish covers.  The most compelling track is “Ordunun Dereleri” (“The mountain streams of Ordu”) a sad Black ...

MARC REEDER, DANGEROUSLY Berlin for many is a stepping-stone. You do your Berlin thing and then you move on. That’s how it was  for Berlin’s most famous expats: Vladimir Nabokov, Christopher Isherwood, David Bowie, Nick Cave. Mark Reeder never managed to get over Berlin. Reeder has seen it all since coming to Berlin at twenty in 1978  to become Factory ...

It’s been said 47Soul is a band that is “rooted in the Palestinian Diaspora”. Surely “uprooted” would be more to the point.  47Soul, which consists of Tareq Abu Kwaik, Ramzy Suleiman and Walaa Sbait lives in exile in London and thrives off of a global network of dispossessed Palestinians and their sympathizers. The sound is a new one, blending traditional ...

Interview with Muhammad Qundous from Qarar band.  When I think about bands that represent "our area”/Palestine/Israel/ how ever you wanna call it, I think about Qarar. A non-profit project which was formed by Muhammad Qundous: a teacher, musician and community figure in Jaffa. He writes original songs dealing with the Palestinian narrative, past present and future and specificly the story ...

BERLIN-DONBASS (Part 1) My fellow musicians remember that end-of-March-2020-feeling we all had while staring in disbelief at the calendar, watching the scheduled dates vanish one by one. April, May, June shows, all gone. However, in my timetable there still was a trip planned for October, and for some obscure reason it just wouldn’t disappear...I couldn’t imagine how, under the newest ...

Moğollar – the Mongols – were the original  Anatolian rockers and coiners of the term “Anatolian Pop”. Back in the late sixties and seventies when Americans and Europeans followed the hippy trail east through Turkey, Afghanistan to India, Moğollar was the first Turkish act on the scene to hew out a place for itself blending Anatolian folk elements with Western psychedelia,in ...

Birol Ünel (18 August 1961 – 3 September 2020) is dead at 59. His death is not exactly breaking news. He died  three months ago of cancer. I found out about it only now, and I can hardly believe it. Kreuzberg barfly, disheveled rabble-rouser, man possessed – an only slightly less extreme version of his lead role in Fatih Akin’s ‘Gegen ...

A GERMAN-EGYPTIAN MEMORY OF EDWARD W. SAʿID Edward Said loved music, and I loved his love of music, as well as the musicality that characterized everything, he did. Teju Cole, "A Quartet for Edward Said," from Black Paper  (University of Chicago Press, forthcoming 2021)[1] [1] I thank Teju Cole for providing me with this script, and Roni Mann for her comments on an ...

PRAGUE It was 1992. Communism was over and I was in Berlin selling computer games at the PX with private Ricky Ruez from the Bronx. The base was closing and all the Americans were going home. Business was slow. I was sprawled out at the till doing the crossword in the Herald Trib while Ricky sat at the computer terminal ...