A marvelous bit of musical tourism by Fatih Akin (Head-On.) Einstürzende Neubauten bassist Alexander Hacke travels to Istanbul to explore and record the city’s rich scene–resulting in terrific live performances by people I’d never heard of but can’t wait to check out now. The variety is fascinating: traditional Turkish music is to be expected, but the DNA of lots of other genres gets spliced in and recombined with the peculiar geographical confluences of Istanbul, merging eastern and western styles. Crossing the Bridge offers rock, hip-hop, break dancers, street buskers who jam along with their cell phone ringtones, groovy improvisational “bellytrance” band Baba Zula, the father of Turkish rock Erkin Koray, strumming moviestar Orhan Gencebay, and–a revelation–the wonderful singer Sezen Aksu. Available on DVD next week.
Crossing the Bridge, Fatih Akin, 2005. ****