It was a tough call. Amsterdam Klezmer Band with Yury Gurzhy Djing the after show or Dubioza Kolektiv at Festsaal Kreuzberg. I opted for Dubioza – and I didn’t regret my decision (though I am sure AKB rocked the house just as hard). Dubioza Kolektiv is a kind of Bosnian goodtimes party band, whose English lyrics surprisingly make sense, even ...

Robert Rigney: So basically I would like to know about your beginnings. Also about living in Tarlabaşı in Istanbul, and differences between playing Roma and gadjo weddings. So the first question is how did you start? Cüneyt Sepetçi: Like many Roma musicians it came from my father. My grandfather also played clarinet. My great grandfather also played clarinet. The whole Cüneyt family, if they are instrumentalists, play clarinet. I  have a lot ...

Gino Srđan Jevđević is the lead singer and founder of Kultur Shock, a multicultural Balkan-style rock band that blends certain Bosnian oriental melodies and folk elements with a hard-rock and punk sensibility. Kultur Shock, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year, and has 11 albums under its belt, is commonly described as a Seattle based “Gypsy punk band”. The label essentially ...

Although she hates to hear it, Olga has got to be one the last of the unrepentant Communists in Berlin. Originally from Varna, in Bulgaria, she came to East Germany to study genetics in the late eighties, where she joined a spectacularly old-school Communist folk music ensemble called the “Ensemble Solidarität”. Straight out of some Socialist-Realist Stalinist mural, the ensemble – formed ...

While it is true that young people in Turkey are getting clued in on their 70s Anadolu psyche heritage through international acts like Altin Gün (if the Westerners like it, then it must be good), one has the sense that Lalalar’s sound may be closer to the hearts of young western-leaning Istanbulus. “Lala,” Ali Güçlü Şimşek, explains,  is “the wise man, the ...