Islandman Ft Okay Temiz And Muhlis Berberoğlu

Direct-to-Disc Sessions

Image of Islandman Ft Okay Temiz And Muhlis Berberoğlu - Direct-to-Disc Sessions
Record Label
Night Dreamer Records

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Balearic folktronica meets percussion genius on a unique one-take recording that finds Turkish downtempo specialist Islandman in triple conference with legendary percussion innovator Okay Temiz, and contemporary saz virtuoso Muhlis Berberoğlu.

Recorded in Amsterdam for Night Dreamer’s ground-breaking Direct-To-Disc series, the session captures the innovative brilliance of the great Okay Temiz in full flow over Islandman’s trademark balearic-tinged production, alongside the modern Anadolu folk sound of Berberoğlu’s saz.

Freewheeling dance project Islandman moves in a bold new direction with this essential Direct-To-Disc session featuring storied Turkish percussionist Okay Temiz and contemporary saz player Muhlis Berberoğlu. Expanding beyond their electro-acoustic DJ formula into a wider sound world of experimental instruments, neo-traditional rhythms and folk improvisation, Islandman’s vision on this Night Dreamer disc seeks to reconnect cerebral downtempo beat- making with the folkloric and ritual bedrock that their music has always rested on.

Bandleader Tolga Boyuk’s vision has always been expansive, and the link-up with Night Dreamer was a chance to try out a more spontaneous style of playing and recording. ‘When Night Dreamer told me about their label, for which they only record Direct-to-Disc, I wanted to go there with a special project,’ he says. ‘I thought it would be a nice opportunity to make a more organic, more live and more improvised album. So I came up with the idea to make it with Okay Temiz.’

Known for his inventive genius on percussion instruments ranging from the berimbau to the bricklayer’s trowel, Turkish percussionist and drummer Okay Temiz is one of the world’s foremost improvising musicians. In the course of a career stretching back to the mid-1960s, he has collaborated with jazz greats including Don Cherry and Johnny Dyani, led his own Oriental Wind unit, and played with countless musicians across dozens of genres. His 1975 single ‘Denizaltı Rüzgarları’ is a revered break-beat classic among crate-diggers worldwide, and it gets a refixed outing on this disc. ‘Okay Temiz is a real legend for us,’ reflects Boyuk. ‘He's very special to the Turkish music scene. He is one of a kind, and his music has always been so free. He's always been very special. And we always wanted to do something with him.’

Approached for the project by Islandman’s drummer Eralp Güven, the always open and experimental Temiz was enthusiastic to participate. To complete the unit, Boyuk turned to Muhlis Berberoğlu: ‘He's a very young but amazing virtuoso saz player. He represents the young generation of Anatolian music – very open-minded and very open to working together. So I wanted to invite him too, and I wanted to create an album of folk songs with Okay Temiz’s crazy instruments and Muhlis’s virtuoso saz playing.’

The session unfolded with controlled unpredictability. Boyuk arrived at the studio with simply produced tracks, and from there the ensemble let improvisation and organic synergy take control. The brilliant wildcard was the effervescent imagination of Temiz, who came equipped with an eclectic mix of homemade instruments including an electrified flute made of industrial bathroom piping, and a shaker with a contact mic wired to a wah-wah pedal: ‘Okay put all these instruments on a table, and he put a stereo microphone left and right. And then he grabs one of his instruments, and he’s moving around the mics to create a live ambisonic sound – a very open space. We were amazed at how brave he is. He's not afraid of the physics of sound, or the technology of sound recording – he always wants to be very edgy.’

Combined with Islandman’s subtle and responsive beat-science and Berberoğlu’s scintillating agility on the saz, Temiz’s visionary rhythm force leads the session into unknown territories of improvised future-folklore, strictly for the heads. ‘All the tracks here have folk song melodies in them’, explains Boyuk, in conclusion. ‘And all of them are from different regions of Turkey. They have different senses of rhythm, specific to the regions. I wanted it to be a picture from different places in Turkey.’ 


A1. Aşik Atişmasi
A2. Şeker Oğlan
B1. Deni̇z Alti Rüzgarlari
B2. Fi̇dayda
C1. Kaleni̇n Bedenleri̇
D1. Yayla Yollari 

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