Sunday night may be the first time many of us will be acquainted with the Turkish powerhouse known affectionately as Selda, but for Suzan Yücel – a child of Turkish immigrants in the Netherlands who grew up side by side with Selda’s music – this name strikes a far more familiar chord.
Unfortunately, Wally Badarou will be unable to make it to the festival. Instead, we have invited the great Insanlar from Instanbul to take over Wally’s previous time slot.
Insanlar (literally Humankind in Turkish, but with a deeper and esoteric meaning behind it) first got together in the last months of 2010 – with Baris K and Cem Yıldız at the helm – as an inhouse jam band for the Anatolian pop/rock revival series Minipop, which was then starting to take place in Istanbul’s Minimüzikhol, the network’s home club. From this organic friends network, which included many names like Turkish hip-hop superstar Kabus Kerim to dancer Bahar from Baba Zula and percussionist Sinan Tansal from iconic rock bands Karapaks and Mavi Sakal, Insanlar evolved into a more stable core band with Istanbul’s superstar drummer Alican Tezer (Ayyuka, Büyük Ev Ablukada, ex-Athena) as the third permanent member in the band. Their shamanistic techno-folk hybrid, rooted firmly in Anatolian Alewi religious poetry, and their energetic, almost punkish attitude created a mystic following around the band’s improvised early shows. The release of the hypnotic stomper “Kime Ne” on UK’s Honest Jon’s label in 2015 catapulted the band onto the international stage, where their idiosyncratic mixture of traditional Anatolian/Mesopotamian instrumentation, electronic music and spiritual/philosophical lyrics continue to captivate festival audiences.