We were first made aware of BaBa ZuLa from Fatih Akın’s outstanding documentary, Crossing the Bridge. It was 2006; we had just come back from the first of our many subsequent trips to Turkey, having attended a week-long psychedelic trance festival in the mountains behind Antalya to coincide with a solar eclipse. We were in love with the diverse music we had heard in Turkey so when the news emerged that Akın, who had previously directed the amazing movie Head-On, had released a movie about Turkish music, narrated by Alexander Hacke from Einstürzende Neubauten, we were very excited indeed.
BaBa ZuLa have been around for 23 years now, and they play a sound that really is like nothing else out there at the moment. They mix traditional middle-eastern instruments with dub and electronica to create a sound known as “Istambul psychedelia”. Boiler Room recently produced a short documentary showcasing the band here: https://youtu.be/b5QvDwL15HY
Regulars to these shores, they are bringing their show again to the legendary Jazz Café in Camden, having previously graced the same stage last year with psychedelic folk singer Djanan Turan. This time they are joined by Kit Sebastian (a duo formed by Kit Martin from London and singer Merve Erdem from Istambul) who, like BaBa ZuLa, also create an aesthetically-pleasing fusion of Turkish jazz though in their case with a distinct Brazilian samba favour. If you haven’t heard them already, check out the title track of their “Mantra Moderne” album here: https://youtu.be/LS4s3KeV9Y4