From Budapest to Belgrade is eight hours. You travel along the Pannonian plain; the great plain of Hungary; Transdanubia; the westernmost steppe in Europe; all flatlands and fields, and the heat doesn’t let up in your non-air-conditioned compartment, as you pass by dusty, flyblown  villages with sweep-wells in a sea of wheat and cornfields.  At the border to Serbia a burly ...

In 2001 Ulf Lindemann, who goes by the nom de plume of Dunkelbunt, moved from Hamburg to Vienna. That was his first journey eastward – his first Morgenlandfahrt, as it were. Over the course of the next twenty years he would make countless musical and physical journeys east. The Orient would become his modus operandi. I first got to know Ulf in 2007, in ...

Arşivplak (45 mins) **** Arşivplak, meaning “records from the archives” has come out with an eleven track instrumental compilation of popular Anatolian psyche tracks, mainly from the seventies, that will be a welcome addition in any Anatolian rock dance-floor set. The tunes are disco-delightful reimaginings of old Turkish chestnuts, put through the stylistic  blender, with moog organ effects, wah guitar, funky ...

The first time I heard about Hammed Khamis was from a Turkish Sufi named Selman, who frequented a tekke in Schöneberg I sometimes went to. He didn’t mention that Hammed was a professional thief turned journalist and book author. I would get this later. Rather, he said Hammed was a fixer – someone who expedited the work of journalists wishing ...

These nine weirdly wonderful tracks put out by Bongo Joe of Azerbaijani guitar legend Rüstəm Quliyev (1969-2005) spanning the length of his career, untimely cut short by lung cancer, can sound by turns bluesy, redolent of western surf guitar or guitar-hero riffing, as in Tancor Disco. More often, however, Quliyev’s gnarled and twisted guitar playing gives expression to a kind of homegrown ...

I first heard Ethnique Punch rap seven years ago when he grabbed the mic after a live set of  2/5 BZ who is something like a father figure to many electronic producers from Turkey. That night, the artist was booked on a double bill with DJ Zuzu in the first incarnation of Berlin Gallery Savvy Contemporary. Only a few people cared ...

I wonder if you can introduce yourself to the readers of Berlin Bazzar. My name is Shiran, and I am a singer and a songwriter. I’m from Israel. I have Yemeni roots and Iraqi roots. How did you start your career as a singer? I started to sing when I was very young. I was in all kinds of ensembles ...

The Jewish Monkeys was a hot tip from Balkan pop personality Shantel. “The Marx Brothers on acid; the nightmare of Benjamin Netanyahu,” was how he described them. “They are freaks, millionaires on a mission impossible, the story is great. Check them out. You can make them big.” Well, thank you Shantel. I will try my best. It appeared a good ...

Snaking synth lines and exotic chord sequences collide with vigorous bass-laden beats and housy bedrock foundations, as East meets West in irresistible, unpredictable Levantine soundscapes. Zenobia serves up ten by turns moody and euphoric tracks straight outta Haifa - a seaside town in the north of Israel-Palestine known for its relatively large numbers of Palestinian inhabitants, and its burgeoning electronic ...

On a cold Saturday evening in January, the Israeli DJ, Gal Kadan gives a talk on Mizrahi music (Oriental Jewish music) at Lefter Records, a basement record shop in Kreuzberg. Around him, a mixed Israeli-German crowd has gathered to listen to Gal  talk about the gradual rise of Mizrahi music in Israel, from sidelined musical style to hot in-demand sound. Mizrahi ...

On my third day in Prague I found a job lead of sorts. I was sitting in the Led Zeppelin Bar when I came across a copy of an English language publication catering to Prague’s expat scene. It was called Pozor! They needed writers. I copied down the address and went out on the street and hailed a cab. The cab smelled ...

“Squeezed in by Croatia, Slovenia and Italy, we Istrians pass much better as chameleons” Luka Šipetić is from Pula, a city on the northern coast of Croatia renowned for its festivals of electronic music held in old Habsburg fortresses. He is the man behind "Tarot Funk", one of Bandcamp's hottest  albums in 2019. Predominantly an instrumental work that invites listeners ...