Indies, here’s this week’s Monday techno and it’s goood! When someone says Istanbul, the first thing that comes to mind is certainly not techno. But as far off as it is from being Berlin, this transcontinental town is not short of a few gems who are putting out great productions on important labels and supporting the likes of DJ Koze, Tiga and Booka Shade. The guy I am talking about is Alican Yuksel who is one of the pioneers of the clubbing scene in Istanbul, managing the venue Indigo which is our version of Fabric as well as producing solid techno. His latest offering comes in the form of a five-track EP with two originals and three remixes and below is a little interview to follow. Get to know him and enjoy…
You recently released the Unpret EP with Murat Uncuoglu. Can you tell us a bit about your collaboration?
Murat and I’ve been working on different projects together for a really long time. We know each other very well in person and in the studio. So when working on this Unpret EP, the project actually started as a remix for Prisoner of Love. But while working on it , we lost the connection with the original track, and decided to move forward with a completely different original piece – Do I Need. Nicolas (label owner), loved the track and wanted an EP from us. Then we completed the EP with Unpret.
The EP is released on Prisoner of Love, a Miami-based label co-founded by a Get Physical artist. What do you think about the label’s roster?
Actually I met Nicolas through my friend Seanzito from Miami. He’s trying to do really good things over there and stimulate the growing scene in the US. I’m very happy to be a part of the POL family. The label has lots of good artists…Friends like LOPAZZ, Seanzito and Jean Le Phunk and respectable names such as Navid Izadi, Patrice Baumel, Someone Else, and James Teej have put out work under their banner.
You also run the go-to venue for clubbers in Istanbul, Indigo. This year’s line-up is incredible. How do you put together the programming and how is it managing that venue?
Thanks! We are a good team of friends who are really into all kinds of electronic music. We start booking at a very early stage, prior to the beginning of the season. We get together a lot in the studio, play our favorite music to each other and put together a huge bookings list which we narrow down as time progresses :)
Managing a club has its good & bad parts. Taking care of “literally” everything in the club can sometimes be very exhausting. But it’s already the 3rd season I think I am getting used to it.
You also DJ frequently yourself. What do you like playing the most?
I really like playing deep & groovy stuff…But what I most like to do is to start playing very early, greet people, let them drink and chat, and slowly build my set and make them dance their shoes off :)
Are there any producers that inspire you or any up and coming names that excite you?
DJ T. and MANDY are always very inspirational for me. As for up and comers in the current scene, Bryan Kessler and Emanuel Satie are definitely ones to watch for me. But, as a rule of thumb, there is so much good music out there and so many names to mention that the list could arguably be endless.
So what’s next? Any other releases in the foreseeable future?
I am mixing the new Full Body Workout compilation on Get Physical Music, which includes label regulars and new talents…I have a track called “Machineself” in the compilation as well. I think it will be out by the end of this year. I would also like start working on an album, collaborating with talented friends & producers within the next year.
If we talk about techno capitals of the World, where does Istanbul stand? Can you talk about any kind of music scene in Istanbul?
While I wouldn’t go so far as to declare it a techno capital, I certainly think Istanbul is on the rise. The Istanbul listenership lends their ears to some very talented artists every weekend and I believe they not only love it, but are inspired by it. The scene breeds new talent, new djs and producers as well as parties and promoters. I think this is a good thing. Competition has a natural way of allowing the better ones to rise to the occasion. I think we still have a way to go, but who knows, Istanbul may indeed become a techno capital sooner than expected :)
What do you think about women DJs and techno/house producers? Do you think they are over or underrated?
I wouldn’t want to judge talent based off of someone’s gender. I think good music is always good, no matter who’s putting on the show. That being said, names like Ellen Alien, Anja Schneider, La Fleur and Nina Kraviz are very good at what they are doing. Love them.
Do you think house and techno is overdone?
Well, I dont think it’s overdone…Once you feel it’s overdone or repeating itself, there comes a really talented producer and changes it, influencing many others and taking the sound in a new direction. You can hear something that you wouldn’t ever think of.. And I think whenever music reaches a threshold, someone always comes along to push it past the next edge. Like I said there’s still so much good music out there and I am enjoying all of it.