Turkish psychedelia, funk and grooves: Elektro Hafiz head for Brussels

Elektro Hafiz
Elektro Hafiz Copyright Photo
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By Frédéric Ponsard
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Roma clarinettist Ramazan Sesler and electro band Elektro Hafiz: the musicians linking Brussels and Istanbul


There are many bridges between Istanbul and Brussels, especially in the field of culture.

Famous Roma clarinettist Ramazan Sesler

Under the aegis of HubBrussels, the Belgian consulate in Istanbul hosted the famous Roma clarinettist Ramazan Sesler from Thrace, the European part of Turkey, who will soon perform in Belgium for the Balkan Trafik! festival.

"I create a relationship between this musical heritage and our time, especially through the instruments," says Sesler. "For example, we have a bass guitar in our band, one example among others. We make our music meet with jazz and with jazzmen on stage or in studio recording, with the piano, drums. I try to bring some contemporary elements to my musical tradition."

Fusion of music styles

Istanbul is full of music clubs, including the famous Babylon hall, where you can discover the latest trends.

The Istanbul-based electro band Hafiz is a successful fusion of several musical styles, especially live, "an incredible blend of Turkish psychedelia, funk and grooves".

Instruments of yesterday and today, and which always sound very electric. Frédéric Ponsard met the founding members of Electro Hafiz for Euronews Culture

"We don't try to mix the East and the West," says drummer Onur Öztürk. "It's just we listen to so much Eastern music and Western music as well, so that's what we make. It's natural for us, it comes from our hearts, we are not planning it, or structuring it, right, it's what it is."

Elektro Hafiz represents this very contemporary side of Istanbul music, with the contribution of rap sounds, by inviting DJs and rappers like Grup Ses, a big name in Turkish rap.

Elektro Hafiz will be playing in Brussels for the Balkan Trafik! festival on 29 April.

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