NYC Jazz Record reviews the latest Mark A. Lotz & Islak Köpek album

The October issue of New York City Jazz Record has a very good review of the Mark Lotz & Islak Köpek album Istanbul Improv Sessions May 4th by Tom Greenland.

Berlin-born, Den Haag-based flutist Mark Alban Lotz is a globetrotting musician whose latest project, Istanbul Improv Sessions May 4th, was recorded in the Turkish capital with Islak Köpek, a local quintet of guitarist Sevket Akinci, cellist Kevin W. Davis, laptop and controllers player Korhan Erel and saxophonists Robert Reigle and Volkan Terzioglu. A disciplined outing, the group eschews skronky bombast for tesselated textures and sustained group ‘chords’ in a variety of settings, all featuring Lotz on various flutes, some prepared and/or processed. Erel’s samples – a mix of animal calls, natural elements, odd metallophones and robotic twitters – never dominate the soundscape, blending seamlessly with the husky, sputtering saxes, scratchy cello and spitting flute for a satisfying balance, impeccably recorded.

The album was recorded during Mark’s visit in Istanbul in May, 2010. It was released a year later on Evil Rabbit Records. Mark and Islak Köpek played a concert in Istanbul in November 2011 at the Borusan Music House. Mark and I started a duo after the album recording, inspired by the flow of four duos we have on this album, and played shows in Utrecht, Amsterdam and Haarlem in 2011 with guest musicians Wolter Wierbos, Eric Boeren, and Guillaume Heurebitze.

The New York City Jazz Record website, where current and past issues of the publication can be downloaded for free, is here:

About Korhan Erel

Korhan Erel is a computer musician, improviser, sound designer based in Berlin. He plays instruments he designs on a computer by employing various controllers. He also uses analog and digital electronics. He is a founding member of Islak Köpek, Turkey’s pioneer free improvisation group, which is regarded as the band that started the free improvisation scene in Turkey. He composes and designs sounds for dance, theater, installations and film. He collaborates with dancers, video artists and spoken word artists. Korhan’s collaboration with Sydney-based video artist Fabian Astore “The Threshold” has won the Blake Prize in Australia in 2012. Korhan’s computer performance system is called Omnibus. The instruments within Omnibus are a culmination of Korhan’s musical past and aesthetic choices. Omnibus instruments use concrete sounds (samples, field recordings), morphed and processed in realtime. They can be as simple as one single sample being played using a Nintendo Wii controller to a complex system that employs granular synthesis and spectral processing. The instruments are played interactively using Nintendo Wii controllers (Korhan’s choice of controller when he plays in ensembles with acoustic/electric instrument players), an iPad (used in solo/duo performances as well as ensemble concerts) and several midi controllers. No matter what technology he uses, Korhan always stays focused on the outcome and musicality rather than processes. Korhan is the co-curator (with Nicola Hein) of UnStumm, a project that brings video artists and musicians from Germany and one other country for audiovisual improvised collaboration. Korhan has had three residencies at STEIM (Center for research & development of instruments & tools for performers) in Amsterdam, where he studied use of sensors in music performance and instrument design. He was a guest composer at the Electronic Music Studios in Stockholm in January 2011. Korhan has seven CD releases on Gruenrekorder (Germany), Creative Sources Records (Portugal), Evil Rabbit Records (Netherlands/Germany), A.K. Müzik (Turkey) and Kukuruku Recordings (Greece) as well as several netlabel releases. He performs regularly in Europe and in the Middle East as a solo artist as well as with his projects in Germany and Holland.
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