Baba Zula

Baba Zula

 İstanbul, Istanbul, TUR

Baba Zula goes to great lengths to provide their fans with ritual like performances which are a meld of disciplines featuring belly dancers, elaborate costumes and poetry..By mixing oriental instruments and modern sounds, BaBa ZuLa creates a sound that has been called "Turkish Oriental Psychedelic".


BaBa ZuLa of Istanbul

Formed in Istanbul in 1996, Baba ZuLa features founding members Levent Akman (spoons, percussions, machines, toys), Murat Ertel (saz and assorted strings, vocals, oscillators, theremin), as well as darbuka player Cosar Kamci who replaced original member Emre Onel in 2005.

Baba ZuLa go to great lengths to provide their fans with a unique live show experience. Their ritual-esque performances are a meld of disciplines, often featuring belly dancers, elaborate costumes, poetry and theater , treating viewers to a tantalizing audio-visual feast.

By mixing oriental instruments such as the darbuka, electric saz, and spoons with electronics and modern sounds, BaBa ZuLa creates a sound that has been called a 'space sound of Istanbul', "Turkish Oriental Psychedelic " . While a ney is reminiscent of Turkey's Sufi-Islamic tradition, and the clarinet is the symbol of the music of the Turkish gypsies, an electric saz together with a wooden spoon can serve as a musical compass to Turkish musical roots. Roots going as far back as pre-Islamic, shamanic times, from the far corners of Anatolia all the way up to present-day Istanbul.

Baba ZuLa share their legacy with us through their music, a music born out of Istanbul and influenced by the memories of the timeless city, passed on to them from generations past.

The group, which from the very beginning has shown great interest in featuring guest musicians and players in concerts and albums, has been accompanied by stars such as the the Canadian singer Brenna MacCrimmon (specialized in Balkan folk music), Alexander Hacke (Einstüerzende Neubauten), Fred Frith (Henry Cow, John Zorn ), Jaki Liebezeit (Can), Dr. Das (Asian Dub Foundation), Hüsnü Senlendirici (Clarinet ), Titi Robin, Serra Yilmaz , William Macbeth (aka Bill MacBeath bass) and Ralph Carney from San Fransisco (saxophonist who worked with Tom Waits and B52's) and the diva Semiha Berksoy (first Turkish opera singer and painter).
Baba ZuLa' s debut album, "Tabutta Rövasata = Sommersault in the Coffin" (re-released by Kadraj in 2006) includes the original music score for Dervis Zaim's first movie of the same name released in 1996 about a car thief who returns the cars he has stolen to their original owners and falls in love with a peacock. The album also includes four songs on which the movie's stars Ahmet Ugurlu, Tuncel Kurtiz and Aysen Aydemir contribute vocals.

Their album, "Three Plays from Seventeen pieces" (released by Doublemoon Records in 1999) includes music created for the plays "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint Exupery, "Frog Tales" by Arnold Lobel and "Kitchen Accidents" by Perihan Magden. Along with a number of other artists, Ralph Carney, Brenna McCrimmon and Selim Sesler have also taken part in this album as guest stars. Baba ZuLa has also made the music for the film "Renkli Türkçe = Colored and in Turkish", directed by Ahmet Çadirci.

Their third album "Psychebelly Dance Music" released in May 2003 was mixed and mastered by Mad Professor who previously worked with Massive Attack, Lee Perry and the like.

Their fourth album "Duble Oryantal" which was released on Doublemoon Records in May of 2005, reunited them with mix-master Mad Professor, Sly & Robbie and Alexander Hacke and reflects the culmination of years of fearless musical adventuring, and as usual there's a talented and eclectic supporting cast on board for a share of the bounty.

On 2007 release, "Roots", Baba ZuLa return to their original format as a trio. Only old friend vocalist Brenna MacCrimmon can be heard on one song. The group also show off a new perspective on their trademark sound "oriental dub" on 3 dub mixes courtesy of the group's first trip to Japan in the Spring of 2007, where they befriended a Japanese sound engineer. Traditional Turkish influences on the album include works by important composers and lyricists in the history of Turkish music, such as Neset Ertas and Pir Sultan Abdal as well as analog recording techniques courtesy of Turkish producer Mehmet Ates.

Baba ZuLa have composed several mood-setting pieces for the silver screen over the years, their most recent release is an original score for the film "Dondurmam Gaymak".

The band also appeared in Fatih Akin’s Golden Bear award winning film "Crossing the Bridge" which explores the sounds of Istanbul and also provided music for the film by recording with Einstüerzende Neubauten's Alexander Hacke.

Their albums have been chosen among the top 5 albums by respected music publications in Turkey from 2003 on.

They have received many awards for the music they composed for films and theaters, the latest being the prestigious Ismet Küntay Award for the best theater music of the 2008 season....

Baba ZuLa have turned up the volume and energy levels at festivals and clubs including:

Memphis In May Festival (Orpheum Theater -- Memphis, Tennessee) 3 times
Sofia Fil


*Kökler / Roots
( Doublemoon 2007)
*Dondurmam Gaymak (Kadraj – soundtrack- 2006) *Duble Oryantal (Doublemoon 2005)
* Ruhani Oyun Havalari / Psychebelly Dance Music (Doublemoon 2003)
* 3 Oyundan 17 Müzik / 17 pieces from 3 plays (Doublemoon 1999)
* Tabutta Rövasata / Sommersault in the Coffin (Ada Music 1996 /
Kadraj - soundtrack- 2006 )

Set List

Zaniye Oyun Havasi
Col Aslanlari
Babasiz Kizlar Balosu
Asiklarin Sozu Kalir
Istanbul Cocuklari

Usually it takes 90 min