Turkey might not be traditionally renowned as a hotbed of electronic music, but then it’s testament to the work of Eren Erdol and his friends that it’s fast earning a reputation for a place where discerning house music rules the roost.
A man who’s been busy on the label front over the past few years, Erdol runs the always on-point Petra Digital label, a killer label that’s earning rave reviews with a cult array of fans thanks to its always unpredictable vibes. Its latest offering comes from Mr Erdol himself, and as ever, he’s drafted in a brilliant remixer, French native and Spain-based Sebb Junior, a man with an eclectic sound that very much mirrors Petra’s.
Currently in Coronavirus lockdown in his native Istanbul, we caught up with Erdol for a quickfire but wide-ranging chat, touching on everything from the Turkish scene to its politics…
How are you, what’s good and bad right now?
I’m fine thank you! The bad thing is; these days are surreal for sure. I hope soon it will go away but science says the virus will be with us a bit more. Let’s see…
Have you been locked down and where if so?
I’m in Istanbul at the moment and not %100 locked down because the government did not decide to make a full quarantine. However, I am trying to stay at home as much as possible. Not always easy, of course, but am trying my best to do what I can.
What was it like for you, how did you keep busy?
Well, I was very busy before the pandemic because I also acting as a producer for other artists’ projects except my own music and label. I was spending most of my time at the studios for recording stuff, doing meetings etc…
What defines the sound of your Petra label – what are you looking for?
Petra mostly focuses on deep house and techno except for some special, special projects. The first thing I would be looking for from day one is a quality sound! All tracks from Petra should be mixed well and sound perfect. Also, the perspective of the artist is very important, like how they are planning their career because otherwise, we spend our time and budget for unclear projects.
Are you looking to bring artists through to do albums and stuff or is it all about hot 12″s?
Not much actually for digital releases. Vinyl scheduling is quite a different thing than digital releases, so sometimes we choose to make split releases; if tracks are very similar and it’s also giving a commercial power in the market to bring together two artists.
What else have you got coming up/are you working on?
My own release called “Loose My Mind… Oh Yes I Am” will be out on June with a massive remix from Sebb Junior and I’m pretty excited to make it happen! Also, have been working on some upcoming tracks and I hope I may finish them very soon. Also, Petra has very cool vinyl upcoming which will be out during the summer season…
What is the scene in Istanbul like? What sounds are popular?
The Istanbul scene is bigger than expected actually! We have very cool clubs and most of the big names visit every week for playing… The problem is; scene and promoters don’t support local names a lot and it’s a very bad thing to increase the motivation of local names… Most popular sounds are Techno and Ethnic Dance Music tunes at the moment.
How free are you to party as you like given Erdogans influence?
Parties are almost totally free. The trouble is about taxes and pressures on the scene… Alcohol taxes are extremely high in Turkey and because of this; everything is so expensive in the clubs. Also brands are not so independent to be a sponsor for nightlife because of the pressures and they mostly hide their names, if they are sponsors.
How much has the scene changed for better or worse over the last decade or so?
Some parts have been changed positively and some negatively. Scene became bigger than before and of course it’s a good thing! However the quality of music and DJs were definitely much better in the past.
How easy is it to buy music, get to record shops, buy DJ gear etc?
This is super hard in Turkey! Because again, taxes are extremely high for shoppings from abroad and it affects really bad record shops because we don’t have a lot of record stores here in Istanbul and even open stores sell records for very expensive prices because they also buy it for intolerable prices. DJ gears have the same problem…
Eren Erdol’s “Loose My Mind… Oh Yes I Am” is out soon via Petra Digital
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