Robert Soko: So, Chiku, our goal is to interview you about your affinity for Balkan music, and then the Balkan scene in Japan in order to get some weird details out of this world. Chiku Yutaka:  Yes, yes, yes. Robert Soko: The first question – quite a predictable one – how did you stumble upon Balkan music? Chiku Yutaka: I used to DJ punk ...

Kreuzberger Nächte sind lang, as the song goes. Kreuzberg nights are long. And nowhere was this truer than at Zigan Aldi’s “X-berger Nächte” parties every Saturday night at the Cake Club on Oranienstraße, where the Turkish DJ and part time taxi driver, spun his a mix of Balkan, Latin, Swing and Oriental beats, the party totally cooking, until six in the ...

                                      Snow dusts the ground on Ada Ciganli, Gypsy Island, a popular get-away on the banks of the Sava river, a short taxi ride from the center of Belgrade, where, after  a brief walk through darkened woods we reach a creaky wooden gangway leading to a rickety wooden houseboat with a sign in Cyrillic. Lighted windows blaze into the winter night and ...

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 ...

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 ...