Baba Zula

Baba Zula

With its specifically unique sound created by melding traditional Turkish musical instruments with electronic elements, BabaZula has brought a brand new dimension to Turkish Folk Music. Baba Zula's music is basically an amalgamation of recorded natural sounds with both traditional and modern acoustic and electronic musical instruments, a culmination of disparate electronic effects. Starting out by improvisations, later fixed into musical elements which make up their music such as theme, tune, style and sound, reached through recordings and rehearsals, the group has carried this method of "defined improvisation" into concerts, movies, theatrical plays, use of video, slides and films, prepared by the additional members who have joined forces with the core group in its live performances.

The group, which from the very beginning has shown great interest in featuring guest musicians and players in concerts and albums, has been accompanied by stars such as the Thracian Selim Sesler (clarinet master), the Canadian singer Brenna McCrimmon (specialized in Balkan folk music), Okan Özpoyraz (drummer), Fahrettin Aykut (drummer), Tuncel Kurtiz (movie star and player), Ahmet Uðurlu (movie star and player), Hüsnü Þenlendirici (Clarinet master from "Laço Tayfa"), Ralph Carney from San Fransisco (saxophonist) and the diva Semiha Berksoy (first Turkish opera singer and painter).

Intrepid buccaneers and experimentalists Baba Zula continue to explore uncharted waters with this, their third "Belly Double" album on Doublemoon. Mixed and mastered in the heart of mega-city Istanbul by legendary British dub producer Mad Professor, who also worked on their last outing “Psychebelly Dance Music”, “Belly Double” is the culmination of years of fearless musical adventuring, and as usual there's a talented and eclectic supporting cast on board for a share of the bounty.

Guest musicians include reggae legends Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare, Alexander Hacke - bassist with seminal German noise artists Einsturzende Neubauten and Crime and the City Solution, Canadian vocalist and regular collaborator Brenna MacCrimmon and three acclaimed artists who span the spectrum from traditional Turkish music (celebrated clarinettist Husnu Senlendirici from Laco Tayfa) to Turkish rock and pop (Ozkan Ugur from MFÖ), and writer-painter-musician Mehmet Güreli.

The very natural cross-breeding of reggae and oriental music takes well in Baba Zula's electronic treatments of traditional Turkish instruments, and with Duble Oryantal they have further developed the new genre they have named oriental dub.

Their album, 3 Oyundan 17 Müzik (Doublemoon) comprising music created for the plays "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint Exupery, "Frog Tales" by Arnold Lobel and "Kitchen Accidents" by Perihan Maðden, was released in 1999. Apart from a number of other artists, Ralph Carney, Brenna McCrimmon and Selim Sesler have also taken part in this album as guest stars. Baba Zula, who has also made the music for the film "Renkli Türkçe = Colored and in Turkish", directed by Ahmet Cadýrcý and about a movie mechanic falling in love with an ex-pornstar, has also taken stage in Britain and Macedonia. Baba Zula also opened Manu Chao concert which took place in June 2002 during Efes Pilsen Summer Festival.

Baba Zula's debut album, Tabutta Rovasata = Somersault in the Coffin (Ada Music), including the original soundtrack for dervis Zaim's first movie with the same title about a car thief who returned the cars he stole to their owners and fell in love with a peacock, was released in 1996. The album also includes four songs in which the movie stars Ahmet Ugurlu, Tuncel Kurtiz and Aysel Aydemir contribute in vocals.

Levent Akman and Murat Ertel of Baba Zula were invited to Cologne, Germany to perform with two German musicians Gerard Doeke and Norbert Torzik at the Mediteranneen Film Festival on the 6th and 8th of December

BabZula continues to make music for movies and theatre, and to perform in concerts.

With its specifically unique sound created by melding traditional Turkish musical instruments with electronic elements, BabaZula has brought a brand new dimension to Turkish Folk Music. Baba Zula's music is basically an amalgamation of recorded natural sounds with both traditional and modern acoustic and electronic musical instruments, a culmination of disparate electronic effects.
When you hear that a woman from the Toronto suburbs with an Anglo name is an internationally acclaimed Turkish folk singer, an obvious question springs up. "I've been asked how this happened a million times," says Brenna MacCrimmon (BA 2003 Innis). The short answer is happenstance, stemming from a trip to a library in Burlington, Ont., during her late teens. "I came across these Turkish albums, and I was really intrigued," she says.
Creating a synthesis of funk, soul, jazz, reggae and hip-hop, Brooklyn Funk Essentials scored a big number of world-wide record sales with their first album 'Cool and Steady and Easy'. With the jazz funk piece "Katibim" played and prepared for Fuji Film World Music Days 2 in 1996, they received great response and after this Istanbul concert, "Katibim" became the ending piece in the concerts they have been giving all round the world.
World-renowned Turkish multi-instrumentalist Burhan Ocal, a peerless finger drum musician. Burhan Ocal has spent his career bridging the musical cultures of East and West, ancient and modern..
Husnu Senlendirici was born on 12 July 1976, in Bergama, a small town in the Aegean region. Coming from a family deeply rooted in musical traditions (his grandfather, Husnu Senlendirici, used to play the clarinet and trumpet; his other grandfather, Fahrettin Kofeci, the clarinet; and his recently deceased father, Ergun Senlendirici, the trumpet), he immediately became fascinated by music and started playing the clarinet when he was only five.
Laco Tayfa represents a new synthesis within the Turkish Roma (Gypsy) tradition. Under the leardership of clarinetist Husnu Senlendirici, Laco Tayfa brings Turkish regional folk music into dialogue with contemporary world music styles, fired by a driving Roma improvisational style known as "dogaclama". The name "Laco Tayfa" is a synthesis of Romani and Turkish: "laco" is a Romani world meaning "good"; "tayfa" is an Arabic transplant into Turkish connoting a combined work group, extended family and musical ensemble.
Mad Professor a.k.a Neil Fraser began his musical career on the technical side of things as a service engineer for mixing desks and amplifiers. That skill and a good ear for "on key" music became his asset when he began building a 4 track studio at his home in Thornton Heath. At school Neil was christened Mad Professor by friends who were amazed by the experiments he was carrying out.
Mercan Dede believes that when you put digital, electronic sounds together with hand-made, human ones, you can create universal language, capable of uniting old and young, ancient and modern, East and West. It’s a bold claim, but the Turkish-born and Montreal-based musician/producer/DJ has the career and the music to back it up.