Now, with corona, more than ever, musicians don’t have to leave the privacy of their homes to cut an album. They hook up over Facebook or Fiverr and trade samples over Reason, while tracks are recorded in the comfort of one’s own four walls. The result: no really compelling backstory and essentially boring copy. The story behind the genesis of ...

The first I had heard of Taner Akyol was in connection with Derya Yıldırım, the young saz player and vocalist fronting Grup Şimşek, an international band, which have made some waves both here in Berlin and abroad for their groove-laden arrangements of Turkish songs from the seventies.  Derya Yıldırım is a fine example of the neo-Anatolian sound whose other main ...

We were about to set off by car from Berlin across Germany with Isa Martin, a German convert and whirling dervish at the wheel and  Hamza Altinok, a Sufi teacher and mystic, whose father had founded the first mosque in Berlin in the fifties, riding shot-gun. Both Hamza and Isa were frequent guests at the Ottoman Sufi Center, a Sufi dergah, or ...