Swiss-born Turk producer/DJ Mehmet Aslan is up next for July’s edition of Mix Series, filled with Turkish-inspired sounds.
Born in Switzerland, Mehmet Aslan is most known for implementing his Turkish heritage to his music, blending it with classic folk music and contemporary electronic beats like we’ve never heard before. Producing a mix of disco,electronic and techno music out of rare Turkish funk tracks, it’s difficult to find someone else doing what he does these days. He started out with a residency at Hinterhof in Basel, and is now based in Berlin where he regularly plays at the iconic venue Renate.
Mehmet has the last years produced original releases and edits on labels such as Ata’s For Disco Only, Huntleys + Palmers (who signed his first compositions) and Highlife, but the release of Mechanical Turk on Huntleys + Palmers, however, was his first work of original production, turning him into a well-known producer within the music scene. Mehmet also debuted on Boiler Room in Istanbul back in 2015, absolutely smashing it for a whole hour.
We discussed the idea behind his mix, how his original take on Turkish-influenced sound was developed, as well as asking him about his future plans… Check out the interview and the mix below. Enjoy!
Hey Mehmet, how are you doing? What have you been up to lately?
I’m doing great, I’ve recently quit my regular job as a designer, went to Istanbul for a few months, came back to Berlin with a different state of mind and finally found a studio (at Wilde Renate). I basically wake up, cycle to the studio and come back late everyday.
Originally from Basel but relocated to Berlin a few years ago. How has this change influenced your career?
I’ve been asked this a few times and always struggle to answer it as I’m unsure about how or if it influenced my career, since I was doing music also before, when I was in Basel. But I’m sure meeting other musicians here influenced what kind of music I’m doing, and accelerated things a bit, since in Switzerland people tend to do things veeery slowly sometimes.
You’ve become well known for implementing your Turkish roots into modern music – how did this happen? Was this a conscious decision?
Totally unconscious, as I never asked myself if it could work. I was just trying some new things out, taking samples from sounds I knew and then one night the track Gazel happened, and it started everything. What I’m questioning more right now is if there are other ways of implementing these sounds.
Tell us about the mix – what inspired your selections, and how was it recorded?
The mix was recorded with Ableton live and also partly through my teenage engineering op-1, which I used to channel some sounds and tracks through. I’ve tried to mix sounds I’ve listened to recently with music I’ve played in my sets and some new edits and mashups.
You are resident at Renate. How did you get involved and what is like playing regularly at this Berlin club?
The people at Renate were one of the first I’ve met when I was in Berlin and had the similar weird idea of music and it’s still the spot I’ve enjoyed most to play in Berlin.
You also run Fleeting Wax alongside Miajica from Alma Negra. What can we expect from the enable in the near future?
There is an EP coming from Eva Geist (also one track in my mix) right now with a San Proper remix and a edit record of Jonny Rock and possibly also an EP by myself.
Do you have any solo releases in the pipeline for the second half of 2017?
There are a couple of remixes coming, for example for Gaye Su Akyol and I’m trying to make sense of the original music I’ve recorded recently and hopefully there will be something coherent coming out of it.
Many thanks for your time Mehmet, a pleasure to have you and enjoy the summer!
1. willis conover introducing özdemir erdogan
2. Özdemir Erdogan – Aksam Oldu Hüzünlendim Ben Yine
3. Mehmet Aslan – Untitled
4. Auntie Flo – For Mihaly (Reprise)
5. Tülay German – Be Pleure Pas – MMT Edit
6. Timur Selcuk – Ispanyol Mehanesi – MMT Edit
7. Tokyo matt – pi po pa editsu (disco hamam 3)
8. Dane – Dance to Forget
9. Anthony Joseph – Mano Mano
10. Gaye Su Akyol – Akil Olmayinca (Mehmet Aslan Remix)
11. Eva Geist – Begüm
12. Hoodoo Fushimi – Kyoushitsu no Kaijin (A Weird Pupil in the Classroom)
13. Mariah – Shinzo No Tobira
14. Jah Wobble – A Love Song
15. El Deux – Gletscher (Mehmet Aslan Remix)
16. James Tatum Trio Plus – Introduction
17. Omar Khorshid – Guitar El Chark [Guitar Of The Orient]
18. Muslimgauze – Untitled
19. Sadri Alisik -Dalgamiza bakalim
20. Brad Mehldau – Exit music – for a film