Songs for a great Istanbullu mix?
April 22, 2010 1:06 PM   Subscribe

Help me make an awesome Istanbul travel mixtape!

I don't know if you guys ever do this, but I really like listening to a badass mix everytime I travel somewhere - preferably that last hour as you begin your descent into a place you've neer been. Well, I'm going to Istanbul for a few days tomorrow, and am looking for suggestions about what should go on there. It doesn't have to be Turkish (although it's totally cool if it is), but stuff that evokes the mood or sense of Istanbul would be rad. I am completely open to everything (world, hip hop, pop, dance, whatever) except that fucking TMBG song.
posted by mckenney to Media & Arts (15 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
It's not exactly on target, but Bombay the Hard Way makes for some fantastic driving music that might be close enough. Remixed Bollywood, how can you go wrong?
posted by Phineas Rhyne at 1:14 PM on April 22, 2010

Best answer: Mercan Dede . You can listen to it here.
posted by dhruva at 1:16 PM on April 22, 2010

Crossing the Bridge, the soundtrack to the Fatih Akin/Alexander Hacke documentary, is a decent introduction to the various styles you might hear. The tracks by the amazing Kurdish singer Aynur Dogan and by Ceza are the standouts.
posted by runincircles at 1:27 PM on April 22, 2010

Is Telephone Call from Istanbul, Tom Waits, too obvious?
posted by rabidsegue at 1:44 PM on April 22, 2010

Folks I like: Hisarli Ahmet, Arif Sag and Belkis Akkale [also], Feyzullah Çınar, Bülent Ersoy.

Also, my blog ShortWaveMusic has a few songs from Turkey if you want the strong local flavor. This stuff is broadcast straight from the homeland.

The best online store for Turkish music is Tulumba, but all the albums I linked to above are also on eMusic if you have an account there. They have a pretty awesome selection of Turkish folk and pop.
posted by mykescipark at 2:03 PM on April 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

Selda Bagcan! There's a great retrospective of her work on Finders Keepers (UK)/B-Music (US).

(Yes, this is the second time I've shilled for Finders Keepers on a music thread; I have no connection with them, I'm just a huge nerd for the music they reissue)
posted by Merzbau at 2:13 PM on April 22, 2010

Best answer: A Turkish music thread! Awesome!

Ditto Merzbau's Finders Keepers nerdery. Love the Selda-- and I'd add recomendations for Finders Keepers' Mustafa Özkent album and their Ersen collection. I also second the up-thread recommendation of Mercan Dede (his recent album Su is about the Bosphorus-- it doesn't get more Istanbuli than that.

Taksim Trio is also great. (Their name's a reference to Taksim square.) There's also quite a bit of excellent Turkish psychedellic rock out there. Moğollar's my favorite band of that type.

As far as the actual "sound of Istanbul" goes, I think you've probably got to include some nice, cheesy local pop. Tarkan's probably the king of that. Fatih Kisaparmak is sort of a Tarkan for the older generation, I gather, and would also be a great addition to a mixtape.

If you don't want to hunt down too many individual artists, there's a fine compilation series out that can get you started: Zula Müzik's "Homegrown Istanbul," volumes I and II are both wonderful. I'm a bit partial to volume II, which, conveniently, is also the one that's easiest to get in the U.S.

Have a great time in Istanbul! I'm seriously, seriously jealous!
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 2:44 PM on April 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

Oh, and if you want local hip-hop, check out Cartel. Sultana is also good.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 2:53 PM on April 22, 2010

Nadide Sultan - Konyalim (yes, it's about Konya, but it's still a very good, catchy Turkish tune)
posted by jpcooper at 3:31 PM on April 22, 2010

Thirding Selda (especially Yaz Gazeteci Yaz)
The Cedars - For Your Information (They're Lebanese not Turkish but close enough)
posted by mia_farrow at 5:57 PM on April 22, 2010

hayko cepkin - seninki dertmi is a mellow favorite.

for the in-betweens, you might capture a bit of audio from istanbul air traffic control
posted by kimyo at 6:05 PM on April 22, 2010

A bit late, as usual, but I'll second the recommendation for the "Crossing the Bridge" compilation that runincircles mentioned. Lots of good stuff, including Baba Zula (great Turkish psychedelic rock).

I'd include some Turkish gypsy music. Selim Sesler (included on "Crossing the Bridge") is good, as are Deli Selim and Kadir Ürün.

A few other people to look out for (some mentioned previously, in various musical styles), off the top of my head: Arif Sağ, Ceylan, Erkin Koray, Kazım Koyuncu, Moğollar, Muazzez Ersoy...

Surprisingly, the iTunes store has a pretty extensive selection of Turkish music – I think most of the artists mentioned in this thread have something available there.
posted by klausness at 10:06 AM on April 25, 2010

Mefites must have shown remarkable constraint in not posting this. I'm sorry! But really, it was inevitable.
posted by indienial at 10:04 PM on April 25, 2010

indienial, that's because the OP said "everything except that fucking TMBG song" in her original post.
posted by mykescipark at 7:23 AM on April 26, 2010

clearly, i'm not good at interpreting abbreviations, mykescipark. sorry OP!
posted by indienial at 4:13 AM on May 17, 2010

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