Souls of the Ancient
Trance scene in Turkey
Author: Sona, Ahmet
Date: Aug 30, 2007
Souls of the ancient: Turkey
»We walked a little, yet travelled too far; have crossed overhill and plains apart; and when we looked back, indeed; The road left behind, was no bigger than a barley seed... « So begin the ancient Turkish fairy tales. The first trance dance experience on these lands was probably held in Catalhoyuk around 6500 BC!
Ancient Anatolia, the cradle of the mother goddess cult has been home to countless civilisations, from neolithic Crane Dancers to the Sema of Sufi whirling derwishes, from Dionysiac celebrations of Thrace to Alevi Semah dances. With a history of musical healing practices and trance dance, our Shamanic ancestors have been stomping on these lands for thousands of years. Combined with a long established tradition of psychedelic rock from the 60s and a strong scene of House, Techno and Trance that bred many international talents, Turkey was destined to get in touch with its shamanic legacy through a psy-eye.
The first sprouts of Psychedelic Trance appeared around the mid 90’s with small indoor and outdoor gatherings. In 1999 a venue called Saklikent in Ankara began to host psy-events with international headliners. Thanks to Saklikent; Talamasca, Psysex, Astrix, Astral Projection, Infected Mushroom, Kindzadza, Star Sounds Orchestra and many others have rocked their beats in Turkey to this day. By 2001, pioneers of the scene were throwing legendary parties such as LOVE, Isik Mountain Parties, Love Sun Dance and Ida Experience. In 2005, Intelligent Monkey opened the first psy-club in Istanbul and hosted artists such as Delirious, Black&White, MFG and Quantum Leap until it was closed in the same year. Meanwhile, Electric Blue was making psy-radioshows on a regular basis.
However, Soulclipse 2006 was a turning point for everyone. With 200 artists and 12,000 participants, this massive event left Turkey literally “eclipsed”. The already expanding psytrance scene gained immense momentum and commercial events and frequency of the parties increased. 2006 saw great free outdoor events such as God On Acid I – II, Perseid Gathering, and two street parties in the heart of Istanbul titled Psystreet and Magic Lamp.
Today the local scene is catered for by DJs such as Kodomo, Mute (Metaphysics Records), Tao-Sen, Psysarı, Moonchild, sona, Virtualien, Fantasma, Murat, Djhan, Chillom, Psytombi, Zen-G and Underto Project, some of whom make the occasional international appearance too and Turkish producers like Lucid Picnic (Peak Records), Mindsphere (Metaphysic Records) and Travma (Metaphysic Records) are releasing their tunes through international labels. We also have Mute producing a psy-radioshow called Cosmic Pillow on Acik Radio 94.9. Children of Mu and Adam&Alien are the two leading deco teams. Mushamba is known for their deco-chai-and party organisations. And Habehabe Tribe keeps the Goa spirit alive with its free outdoor parties, or rather... purities.
We know that change is the essence of existence; that we cannot live on memories of the old days. So let’s hope that the commercial expansion will encourage promoters to put on magnificent events and help tribes to enhance their existing skills whilst the magic is kept alive on secret shores, in fairy-tale forests and across history drenched hills.
Turkey is still very cheap, both to eat and to stay. But you can also volunteer in ecological farms all over Turkey within the TaTuTa project held by Bugday Association, or just stay on these farms for a reasonable price.