In 2013, Turkish-German author, music compiler and DJ, Imran Ayata stumbled upon a poor quality video snippet from the eighties featuring a young man named Ozan Ata Canani playing saz and singing in German a tale of Turkish Gastarbeiter life in Germany.  The song was called “Deutsche Freunde” and Imran Ayata was floored by the sincerity and force of the message, not to ...

Whereas the first albums had more to do with retro futurism, in Anadolu Ejderi (Anatolian Dragons), past and present collide beguilingly as Gaye Su Akyol jumps on the Anatolian wagon, pushing it further with self named title track, setting high expectations  via bold synth flash, fierce drum roll, punchy guitar lines and haunting refrain. At last Gaye Su Akyol has delivered a made-to-measure ...

Imran Ayata (1969) is a Turkish-German author, music compiler and sometime DJ. Together with Bülent Kullukçu, he put out a collection of immigrant music, Songs of Gastarbeiter Vol. 1  in 2013, after rediscovering and resuscitating the career of a little known Turkish balladeer, Ozan Ata Canani. Earlier this year Ayata and  Kullukçu came out with Songs of Gastarbeiter Vol. 2, the centerpiece being a new ...

OMFO: I come from Odessa -  an area that is closely linked with  Balkan culture. Odessa was a part of the Ottoman Empire, and the territory has been home to many different ethnic groups – Gypsies, Moldavians, Greeks, Armenians, Tatars – people who express the core of this Balkan ethnic diversity.  Crimean Tatars, for instance:  typical Balkan music. If you listen to music of the ...

Robert Soko: Happy to have you on board. We are about to have a chapter on the Netherlands. And, well, we don’t have any prepared questions. We just love talking to people naturally. But let’s start somewhere. 25 years of Amsterdam Klezmer Band. How did you come up with the idea of making a klezmer band? Job Chajes: Yes, well, I started ...

The deeper I got into the Balkans the more I began to feel the magnetic pull of Istanbul. As of Novi Pazar, everything started to tilt towards the Bosphorus. The food, the music, the language, the mannerisms, all began to assume a Turkish touch. I realized that if ever I were to unwind the knotty issue of the Balkans in my ...

I was walking up Hobrechtstrasse in Neukölln the other day when who did I run into but Petrit, my old friend and owner of Mama Bar, that legendary Neukölln watering hole where I had spent many a night back in the day. It had been ages since we had seen each other. Petrit’s beard was touched with grey now, but ...