İstanbul Psychedelia

27/02/18Enter The Magical World Of BaBa ZuLa

London-based global online music broadcasting platform Boiler Room just released a short feature on longstanding experimental Turkish formation BaBa ZuLa. Founded in 1996, BaBa ZuLa continues to entice crowds the world around with their psychedelic improvisations and explorations and, to this day, still includes the band's lead vocalist and electric saz player Osman Murat Ertel as well as percussionist Levent Akman.

The short portrait accompanies the band through their native Istanbul and navigates the city's unique geography, which is also omnipresent in the group's music: "What fascinates me about the saz is that it takes me to a particular geography from the past, and it gets me to form a connection with my roots. With all of my ancestors, my grannies in Istanbul as well as in Anatolia and even as far as Central Asia. We have fun with the saz, we revolt with the saz. Also the saz never entered the palace [of culture]. Saz means 'the culture of the people' - what the people say. The electro saz is a new instrument. I wanted to change the way it sounded. [...] With a revolutionary understanding, we should head towards beautiful things," says Murat Ertel.

Ertel continues to underline the role that humour and a free-spirited approach play in BaBa ZuLa's art: "Humour is truly very important for us, and it brings a second point of view, another way of looking. It presents the audience with a choice to believe or not to believe. Is it in fact a joke, or is it serious?" So before we take away too much, watch the full documentary below and join the magical movement that is BaBa ZuLa. You may also want to peep their full 2017 live set.

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom