Martin Scorsese, Keith Richards, Johnny Depp and Robert De Niro are impressed by her voice.Aynur Doğan — or Aynur, as she is popularly known -  is probably one of the most famous Kurdish singers today.  Many will remember Aynur’s appearance in Fatih Akin’s 2005 Istanbul music documentary, Crossing the Bridge, in which she sings a haunting Kurdish lament in an old Istanbul hamam. ...

In my neighborhood in Wilmersdorf the black-and-white photocopied   portraits in memory of the ten foreigners who were killed cold bloodedly on 19 February in Hanau by a gun wielding neo-Nazi terrorist had hardly been up a day before they were scratched out and defaced totally. Elsewhere around the city one finds the pictures similarly vandalized. And so goes the memory of ...

Pavel was one of those Czech Western freaks you came across now and then in Prague. He wore an oversize Texas belt buckle, tooled cowboy boots and  listened to Waylon Jennings and Hank Williams Jr. to let his hair down after work. He knew more about America, than I – his English teacher – did, that’s for sure, and once ...

I wanted to ask you about the new album. What does it mean, “Derin, Derin”? “Derin, Derin” is kind of like, “Deep and deeper”. If you have seen the cover, then you would understand better, I think.  There’s a tree on the cover. Yes, it’s a tree. But not only a tree. There’s the earth and there is also an ...

Was the döner kebab really invented in Berlin? Or is this just an urban myth? Çağan Okuyan’s art-book, “Kebab Project” goes some way towards answering this question. In the end, however, the search leads to more questions than answers, and the origin of the döner kebab remains as elusive as ever. Çağan’s book – the first of its kind – ...

"Saban Bajramović, the late, great, gravelly voiced, high living Roma blues legend was born in Niš, a nondescript, bleak, industrial town in east Serbia, from where he embarked on a musical journey around the world that would bring him fame and the chance to earn – and lose – a small fortune." Šaban BajramovićIbrahim Kaya Šaban grew up in a ...

For a long time now, it has been possible to make interesting discoveries thanks to Pharaway Records and their extensive catalogue. In addition to a great variety of psychedelic and Anatolian Pop albums from Turkey, Pharaway also explorers countries such as Afghanistan and Iran.Münir Tireli Pharaway has released pre-revolution Iranian pop, funk, rock and psychedelic vinyl compilations since 2013 on ...

For a band which makes the bold claim to being the (one and only) Amsterdam Klezmer Band, the outfit has rarely been about straight-up, unadulterated klezmer. While the core remains so, AKB has always served its musical cocktail with a dash of something else – be it Balkan, reggae or hip-hop. In Fortuna all of the tracks are original, and ...

Who owns Arabic music? Who owns Arabic music? Who should get to play it? Who should get paid for it? Palestinians or Israeli-Jews? What about cultural appropriation? Are Israeli DJs playing Arabic music – as some Palestinian critics put it – “art washing” Israel’s human rights abuses in Gaza and the occupied territories with feel-good club nights featuring appropriated Arab ...

“Children’s Records from the USSR” As a kid, I was often sick and stayed home for weeks. My parents had to work, so in the absence of someone to entertain me, I was spending my time with a monophonic record player and a stack of children’s records that my grandpa bought for me. Days after days, I listened to them ...

Coming at the end a long and exhausting European tour, we reached Adalaide, Australia after a 16-hour flight. What kind of hick-town was this that we had landed in? It was outrageously hot and, well, somehow different.  The first thing I noticed were the many prohibitions. You mustn’t smoke here, you mustn’t smoke there. No frowning. No driving on red. ...

MANIFESTORobert Rigney In Weimar Berlin artists and writers, like Christopher Isherwood and Alfred Döblin sought out Berlin’s underground in secretive communist cell meetings and proletarian bars in worker districts.  In post-war Berlin the underground became synonymous with left-wing student activism, later in the seventies and eighties with the anarchist and squatter scenes. After the fall of the Wall techno-driven hedonism ...