Crossing the Bridge - the sound of istanbul

just saw this documentary film. made by one of the Einsturzende dudes. other than the shots of him in his leather jacket walking around, which were entirely useless and pretentiously annoying, and the strangely weak ending, the other 1 hour or more includes very good music - a little bit of rock, hiphop, and mostly traditional Turkish music, of the street and official varieties. the musicians do their thing and are interviewed; the editing is nice; the whole thing feels not so serious but like a celebration. very enjoyable.

good parts include I think a different Einsturzende dude in the beginning talking about fusion music, he said something like "people consider it naive to mix eastern and western sounds. but I think that the idea that East and West are 2 separate and disctinct cultures is naive. because in places like Istanbul, there are no boundaries, and Gypsy, European, African, East Asian, Arabic, Indian cultures have ALWAYS mixed together to form hybrids."

and later someone explained that there was an Arab in Spain called Flamo Minko or something like that, who played the Oud (the grand daddy of all plucked strings), and other people began to imitate the way he played on the guitar - and that's how Flamenco was born.

but there are also stupid parts of the movie (in addition to afore mentioned shots of the rocker dork dude) like this one guy saying 15 years ago there was no rock'n'roll in Turkey. while I personally have 5 or 6 discs of Turkish psychedelic rock from the 1960s.


Anonymous said...

he dude where is the link?

zhao said...

this was a movie. not a record. maybe there is a soundtrack but I don't have it, and would not post it anyway because it would be new and available - I (mostly) only post things that are out of print or overly expensive.

Anonymous said...

oh oke, saw the movie love the music specially the kurdish female singer in the badhouse. she got a great voice. i will search for the soundtrack. tankx anyway. by the way good blog

Don Federico el Sabio said...

hard to say what flamenco came from. certainly Moroccan/andalulsian oud playing had a huge influence, and that the european lute certainly came out of the oud to some degree. The fretted versions such as the baroque lutes and guitars though may owe quite a bit to armenian versions of bouzoukis and also persian tar's, that were widespread also in turkey and are fretted. The oud is probably a persian creation before the arabs picked it up during the invasions during Omar's caliphate. The entire history of flamenco prior to the formulation of it as "flamenco" in the 20th century is pretty apocryphal, there are only a few recordings ever made of legitimate cante jondo musicians made by Lorca prior to his death in and around grenada. As it was music played by gypsies, passed down largely from father to son that were against recording, it's amost totally extinct, but there are legends of hardcore cante jondo guitarists and singers still playing in secret in sevilla and all over andalus. The stories about things they can do are pretty legendary and supernatural, comparable to legends you hear about certain chistiyah musicians in pakistan for instance. The few recordings i've heard of what were supposedly cante jondo singers were utterly mad and didn't sound anything remotely like any arabic music i've ever heard, not even the really atonal end of certain obscure koran readings in Morocco that unesco recorded in the early sixties. Lorca does see a direct continuation from the arabs to the andalusian gypsies though in his writings on the subject.

I've got some turkish stuff for you actually you might dig, some of the more sufic koran readings, and also some mevlevi recordings from the sixties before it became stuff played for new age tourists.

Prior to the widespread use of cracked music software, the turkish disco i heard in the 90's was probably some of the absolute worst music ever recorded. worse even then randy savage's "rap" album, which sounds hilarious, until you try to listen to it. turkish disco has much better production standards now and is merely as loathsome as say teutonic disco.

if you've never seen this page it's pretty decent source for turkish prog/psych/anadolou

many of those ottoman fuzz players were big influences on the immortal Michael Karoli.

My favorite of all those guy will always be Cem Karaca, who actually had his citizenship stripped for his lyrics by the turkish military:

-D. Money 2COLD OG 4LIFE

Rorate Coeli said...

All the files at sendspace et a major part of those who are at rapidshare are not available. Megaupload don't acept anymore no-premium users. Cage's records are not available, Asmus's records neither.
My english stinks, but my french is perfect.
How I will grateful if somenone post Cage and Asmus at rapidshare.
thanks for this amazing blog, one of the greats in the web.