Rock Avant-garde from the Bosporus
Several years ago, Istanbul’s progressive music scene became a focus of interest in Central Europe. Dazzling performers like the turntableist Mercan Dede, or the psychedelic band Baba Zula were striking examples of the Bosphorus export boom. But if you dig a bit deeper, you will quickly discover that the Eurasian metropolis’s superb rock scene has been around for quite some time. The trio Nekropsi, one of the giants of Turk-Rock, has attained cult status in the last nearly twenty years and they are considered pioneers of Istanbul´s alternative rock terrain.
When the band formed in the early nineties with core members Cem Ömeroglu, Tolga Yenilmez (both on guitar) and drummer Cevdet Erek, they initially seemed very "underground": recording and releasing their own demo tapes, until the Turkish Independent Label ADA signed them on; a label known for its broad range of music – spanning folk to edgy metal sounds. From the outset, Nekropsi resisted conforming to Anglo-American dominance in the Turkish rock scene: although the great idols of the Western world, such as Pink Floyd, King Crimson and Mekong Delta influence their music, and their taste for the electro-terrain of such groups as Orbital and The Orb can be felt, each of their pieces is unmistakably and unconsciously marked by folk influences from Anatolia and the Middle East. From their first purely instrumental album "Mi Kubbesi", one experiences an amalgam of progressive rock and industrial fused with the traditional sounds of their homeland. Nekropsis’s stage presence has ensured them appearances as an opening act for Faith No More, the Beastie Boys and the duo of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. The latter, enthralled by the concert, commented about the show "creepy and wild.”
Despite Nekropsi’s early glory, they parted after recording another CD – for nearly a decade. Only in 2007, was the band´s history updated with the aptly titled "Volume 2", Published Every Ten Years. New members now define this second stage of the band’s life, but Cem Ömeroglu’s guitar and Cevdet Erek’s drums remain at the core of the sound, which is now being increasingly defined by their vocals. Kerem Tüzün on bass and strings master Gökhan Gorali have advanced as mainstays in the lineup. Complex rhythms woven together with staccato parallel guitars and bass, vocal work, which at times declaims bleakly, at times chants jokingly in German, or wordlessly explodes into uncanny arabesques, technoid structures and noise percussion converge into a razor sharp galloping metallic vocabulary – that’s what Nekropsi’s new language sounds like. Their comeback fell on fertile ground: In September 2007 they were the surprise act at the opening of the 10th Istanbul Biennial, and their "Hippodrome Concerts" are designed like public rehearsals, in which the public rallies around them. Nekropsi has emerged from their ten-year break as the undisputed vanguard of the progressive Bosphorus league.
This artist took part in the following project(s) organized/funded by the culturebase.net partner institutions.
Festival of Electronic Music
(25 November 09 - 28 November 11)