When I visit a country the musical culture is as integral as the food and the vistas.
Like photography, music makes not only memories, but also allows the feel of a country to be taken.
With less time than I anticipated at my Istanbul connection I acted on instinct, snatching two from the folk section, a sufi album and a compilation of Turkish chill-out tracks.
My only regret is that I did not pillage the entire section of Turkmen folk singer, Özlem Taner.
I anticipated much folkly string action, but this is what emerges instead:
In short, fantastic and effective fusions of rock, folk, eastern and angst sounds that evoke Souad Massi and Natacha Atlas, while retaining an element of uniqueness that screams of ‘where have you been all my life?!’.
Originating from Gaziantep in south-eastern Anatolia, Taner has taken part in the ‘Turkey Now’ festival in the Netherlands and her songs were used in the 2006 film, The International.