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Psychedelic shaman music from Istanbul “Baba Zula” (Turkey)

Concerts

  • July 11th 7 pm. Botanical Garden in Vingis Park, Vilnius
  • July 12th 7 pm. AD Form Kiemelis, Kaunas
  • July 13th 7 pm. Club "Ramybe", Palanga

Performers

  • Osman Murat Ertel – Saz, kura, theremin, vocals
  • Mehmet Levent Akman – Drums, machines, spoons
  • Periklis Tsoukalas – electric oud, vocals
  • Ümit Adakale – darbuka, davul

Istanbul is a city of contrast and a cradle of culture. It is located between Europe and Asia and there
lives about 14 million people that have different traditions, religions, languages and experiences. The
city is colorful and its culture is even more colorful. Here you can see side by side women with hijabs,
men with turbans, call for a pray from ancient minarets, exotic markets, and also modern bars and night
clubs. Istanbul is full of varieties but it also contains an alternative side of its own. Can you imagine
what could be called an alternative in this pot of culture?

It is a psychedelic music that has been inspired by shaman music. It is “Baba Zula”. “Baba Zula” is the
most popular alternative music band in Turkey. They have brought to the light shaman traditional
music that is dated even before Islamic tradition. They are unmatchable Turkish psychedelic masters of
XXI century. They do create unique experience by combining eastern instruments like electric saz,
darbuka and spoons with eletronical music and modern dub and reggae sounds. It is Istanbul’s
psychedelic sound and eastern rock’n’roll that has been inspired by the seventies rock epoch.

“Baba Zula” music is named as oriental dub. The band’s music contains a big variety of sounds and
traditions like sufien Islamic tradition, Gypsys of Turkey and roots of Turkish music. A big
contribution to this is made by dub music producer Mad Professor. He has worked with this band and
bands like “Massive Attack”, Lee Perry and many more.

The performances of “Baba Zula” reminds shaman rituals and creates a true festival of sounds and
music. They do incorporate dance, art, exclusive costumes, poetry, theatre, and live painting into their
performances. The graphic artist paints digital images at real time and they gives visual pleasure and
also helps to understand the lyrics. The belly dancing is not just for erotic reasons but also symbolizes
birth and reminds where from did we all came.

“Baba Zula” has a revolutionary point of view to electric saz that is the most important instrument of
Turkey. The electric saz is interesting in that way that is the first and only Turkish instrument that has
been modernized and electrified. “Baba Zula” combines that sound with retro and modern electronical
effects and that creates original and never heard before sound that has become bands foundation.

Members of “Baba Zula” are Mehmet Levent Akman who is creator of the band (spoons, percussion,
machines, toys, drum, gong), Osman Murat Ertel (saz, baglama, guitar, percussion, vocal, electronic
instruments), Ümit Adakale (darbuka, percussion) and Pericles Tsoukalas (electric uda, vocal,
synthesizer).

The band was established in Istanbul in 1996. The band became widely known in 2005 when
documentary by Fatih Akin “Crossing the Bridge” won a “Golden Bear” award. This documentary
shows in great details Istanbul’s modern and avant-garde musical stages.

Albums of “Baba Zula” constantly made into top 5 of prestigious Turkish musical journals since 2003.
They won the name of the best instrumental records for the band in the biggest Turkish “Billboard”
awards. They have been awarded and acknowledged for the soundtrack for the movie “Dondurmam
Gaymak” and also for the music for cinema and theatre.

“Baba Zula” name means a very big secret. It can be associated with Vakan Tanka – The Great Spirit
of American Indians from Dakota. Baba in Turkish means father or a big deal and Zula means a secret.
So we invite you to reveal great secrets of Istanbul together with “Baba Zula”. There will be a lot of
symbols, colors, movement and connection to the roots. Let’s go to the unpredictable psychedelic
journey.

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