Radio Shantel International

24/07/2020Frankfurt-based Producer Shantel Revisits His Recently Released Collaborative Album "Istanbul"

A few weeks back, Frankfurt's very own Stefan Hantel – better known as Shantel – dropped his long-overdue musical tribute to the city of Istanbul, a city that welcomed him with open arms in the early 2000s and that he himself has embraced as a home away from home. It was there that Shantel crossed paths with local wedding and party band Cümbüş Cemaat. Celebrated on Istanbul's underground circuit and with some 500 songs to their repertoire, curiously enough, the group had yet to put out a release. And so Shantel and Cümbüş Cemaat set out to record a collaborative album, simply entitled "Istanbul".

Recorded in October 2019 and January 2020, Shantel and Cümbüş Cemaat's album "Istanbul" has meanwhile been released and receiving high praise across the board. In his first radio show for our Greedio Mixcloud channel, the Franfurt-based producer takes a moment to reflect on past highlights of his career, on falling in love with Istanbul, the city, and ultimately producing "Istanbul", the album. Shantel's "Istanbul" embodies "an extraordinary combination of traditional Anatolian music, music from the Aegean part of Turkey as well as from down town Istanbul," located on the Bosphorus. He describes it as "an electrifying mix of both worlds, the digital and the analog, the international and the local [...] a utopia in dystopian times" and "a dialogue of respect and devotion between pop cultures". 

Shantel goes on to reflect on the early 2000s, when he broke with his past as a leading European electronica, trip hop and downbeat producer to embark on a journey into Balkan-tinged productions, fueled by his love for Greek and Arabesque music. His euphoric, cosmopolitan Bucovina Club party sounds eventually led him to Istanbul's Babylon club and the love he encountered there was mutual. Enter Cümbüş Cemaat, whom Shantel first met in Beyoğlu's Tomtom neighbourhood. Missing an initial concept, Shantel and Cümbüş Cemaat began sharing and listening to all kinds of Anatolian music, tunes from Istanbul, tunes of heartbreak and so on. Slowly, Shantel began rearranging the harmonies, rhythms and basslines, trying to create a danceable sound "somewhere between 1968 and 2021," as the underlying mood eventually became the concept.

Did we spark your curiosity? You can listen to the 45-minute show or revisit the full album below. 

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom