Published: 24 Jul 2018
- Umut

A moody journey through early left field electronics.

One of our favourite Melbourne music enthusiasts, the Turkish born Umut Turkeri spent his early years as a DJ in London catching the tail end of the late 90s UK rave madness before making the big move to Australia some 10 odd years ago. He’s since established himself as a trusted name among digging circles for his ear for the weird and wonderful, and is seen regularly collaborating with Australian artists like multi-percussionist Phil Stroud to present deep listening sessions in intimate settings around Melbourne, showcasing the spiritual rhythms and free-form styles of live musicians the likes of Kuzich, Amadou Suso and Stroud’s own spiritual jazz band.

Most recently Umut has been working away with fellow Melbourne digger Chris Bonato from Left Ear Records on a fantastic compilation of ‘Antipodean Anomalies‘ uncovering some long forgotten experimental oddities from Aus and NZ, and next week he’s off to join the Red Light Radio crew on their stage at this years Dekmantel Festival. We had a quick chat to find out more, and the mix is full of moody lo-fi boogie and vintage cold wave jams from all corners of the globe.

Hey Umut what’s been happening? I see you are just about to release a new compilation reissuing some incredible Australian experimental music with Melbourne’s Left Ear Records.. It sounds like you and Chris from Left Ear have been working on that project for quite some time, tell us about that whole process and how it all came about..

Hey MDC, yes currently I am super busy which has been good! The whole story with the compilation started almost two years ago when I was driving home one night and I received a call from Chris Bonato from Left Ear Records asking me if I would like to get involved with the project. We started with the programming immediately and followed up with a few late night listening sessions, Chris is the most honest and unique digger I have had the pleasure to work with, his ears are a magnet for abnormal music! We have listened to so many tapes, vinyl and CDs from the era between the late 70’s and early 80’s.

The hardest part I think was trying to find all the artists. I still have funny memories of people answering my phone calls and pausing for a second after listening to my short burst of information mixed with excitement and continuing “ok, so you found my number from my old university friend, and you want to licence some of my music which I recorded almost 40 years ago for an all Antipodean music compilation, and you’re originally from Turkey!”

I know you’ve lived in Turkey, London and Melbourne over the course of your life and have been actively involved in a range of music scenes over the journey thus far… what can you tell us about that, and how has each of those experiences played a role in shaping your tastes?

Turkey back in 90s was a very interesting place, hearing everything happening in the dance scene around the world from this one guy in my town who would travel to Europe and the US regularly to buy records and sell them on at inflated prices – kind of like today’s dodgy Discogs sellers (pre internet)! Things have changed now, Istanbul especially plays an important role in shaping the dance music culture in Turkey. Considering the political mess, many talented friends like Nigar Zeynep aka Zozo and Umut Kahya from Müstesna Records are really pushing the envelope, leading the scene world wide and reflecting the current mood/sub culture of Turkey, which is extremely diverse.

UK is where I developed my ear really, the music scene was and still is so alive. Thanks to people like Sure D and my og Rotation buddy Tom Buckham I was introduced to a great amount of world music and UK dance music roots. Living in London was an experience that I will never forget.

Melbourne is currently my home I love the city and people have the best vibe. I’ve been so lucky to be working with so many talented Australian artists and promoters. Learning and understanding the roots of dance music culture of the any city I lived in is my number one priority, it really puts things in perspective. I am lucky to have friends like DJ Jnett, she is one of the strongest pillars of Australian dance music roots and is also a good friend, incredible artist, teacher and always supportive. Plus the new generations of hardworking producers and DJs the likes of Winters, Tourist Kid, Lori and Silent Jay + the Mandarin Dreams Crew.. some of the best music you will hear coming out Australia right now. Support these people, buy their records and go to their gigs, you will not be disappointed!

Here in Melbourne you’ve become known for curating lineups with up and coming Australian live acts incorporating a variety of unique and experimental styles. Tell us about some of your favourite collaborative projects to date, and what else do you have in the pipeline?

I think one of my favourite shows I was involved with curating was Phil Stroud’s first ever live show in Melbourne with a 5 piece band and András b2b Instant Peterson finishing the night off with some Aussie electro! I am currently working with Phil Stroud and Perth legend Ben Taaffe brainstorming more live music oriented gigs for the Free Spirits series.

What can you tell us about this mix you’ve put together for us? Any special tracks in there you would like to mention?

To be honest this mix was put together quickly live in one take just before I had to travel back to Turkey for an emergency. I put together what is in currently in my bag from starting from Lo Fi boogie finishing with some Cold Wave favourites, nothing too rare or hard to find.. My favourite label at the moment is Music from Memory’s sister label Second Circle, and in the mix I’ve included their new release from DJ Normal 4. 100% fresh!

I see you’ve just announced a few shows in Europe next month, what can you tell us about those, and what else do you have coming up?

Always so happy to go Europe and playing records is a good excuse for me to also go digging and see my family and old friends. Initially I had a longer stay planned with a few extra shows but needed to cut things short this time round. I am very grateful for Red Light Radio and Dekmantel Festival for the invite and I am really looking forward to it.

Plus some other Antipodean Anomalies related activities in the planning for Australia that will be announced soon.

28th July, The Soul Reason at Glove That Fits (UK)
30th July, Left Ear Records Present. Antipodean Anomalies Live at NTS Radio (UK)
4th August, Dekmantel Festival (AMS)
17th August, TBA (IST)

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