Ringo Jets Sean Bw Parker PICKS

A few years ago I published a piece about the state of the Istanbul indie scene, with a similar title. I wrote about Replikas, Gevende, Portecho, Wingmen, Nekropsi…now, with the UK press all a-flutter about the twentieth anniversary of Britpop, and what it all meant, I decide to return to the music of my adopted city.

I supported, with my Sean Parker Band, John Robb’s The Membranes at Istanbul’s great black box venue Indigo – before it became a full-on meat market disco hall. It was Robb who inadvertently invented the term ‘Britpop’ in an article way back then, as an aside. If the district of Beşiktaş has been given a liberating new lease of life after the Gezi protests of summer 2013, so apparently has the young alternative music scene. So, with no further ado, here are the IstanbulDogs 2014…

10. Abdu

Abdu is a solitary figure, conjuring sweet, lo-fi laments from the Istanbul suburbs. Check out his divine ‘Güzel Hayat’ (The Good Life)

9. Help! The Captain Threw Up

H!TCTU are very much the forefathers of the current scene, having been sporadically playing their slow-core, Tortoise-inspired instrumentals around the city for some time…many members of other bands on this list were spawned by the good Captain…

8. Menace

The irrepressible Martin Nadin fronts the band with the name that does exactly what it says on the tin, bringing his northern English energy and intensity to many a ‘Bul stage. Check out their/his ‘Torretz’ and ‘Chuckle Brother’

7. Chorni

Gabriel EA Clark was head honcho of noughties experimental groovers Pis Yabancı (Dirty Foreigner), and after an extended journey into the Siberian wilderness, returns to freak everybody out with the relatively new Chorni. Check out their ‘Strom’

6. Aysu and the 4th World

The is very little punk about the charming and innovative Aysu Çöğür, but she delivers with her accomplished use of loops with her crystal clear voice and beats, wrapped up in a wonderfully progressive attitude and style. Check out ‘Nuri’, and her televised loop experiments

5. Spent Ex

The most cosmopolitan bunch on the list, Spent Ex (formerly Spent Six) hail from all corners of the globe, descending on Istanbul to mash up their post punk, funkily impassioned shoutalongs. Check out the demented ‘Daddy Oh’

4. The Away Days

Having supported Belle & Sebastian last year, and due to play with Portishead this year, The Away Days’ ambition is as big as frontman Oğuzcan Ozen’s heart. TAD play a spacey, spectral, widescreen indie; bringing to mind Spiritualized and the Cocteau Twins. Check out ‘Galaxies’ and ‘Rumours’

3. The Revolters

The Revolters, championed by the esteemed Indiestanbul site and fronted by the charismatic Serhat Erman, are comparative veterans of the IstanbulDogs scene. Now returning from a lengthy sojourn, refresh your memory with their album/EP of a couple of years ago, particularly the electro-indie classic ‘Step By Step’

2. Saigon Traffic

Onur Andiç’s Saigon Traffic (formerly Alpaca Approach, amongst other nomenclature) are a unique proposition in any country. Andiç’s postmodern poetry somehow fits into the band’s progressive new wave rock with elegance and grace, and the singer’s sweat-drenched, uninhibited stage performances need to be seen and heard to be believed. Hear the astonishing ‘Art Theft’

1. The Ringo Jets

Power rock trio The Ringo Jets have the chops to match their success, with Babylon and Peyote shows (two of Istanbul’s most highly-regarded venues) regularly witnessing their Jack White-meets-Sonic Youth tight chaos. With the amazing Lale pounding the drums, while singing, like some brilliant hybrid of Meg White and Ringo Starr, The Jets will prove the hype when they support the Pixies in summer 2014



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