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Get to know Oceanvs Orientalis, the producer making electronica with Eastern influence

Lock into the artist's unlikely sounds of Istanbul

  • Words: Charlie Case
  • 3 August 2017

Şafak Ozkutle hates nightclubs. “I have never been in any of these big clubs,” he tells us from his current home in Ibiza. “I’ve never been to DC10; I never go check any of them out.” Instead, he prefers the more tranquil and natural side of the island, taking comfort in the White Isle’s beaches and forests. Perhaps that’s unsurprising: six years ago, the 30-year-old producer wasn’t even into electronic music. Working as a graphic designer in Istanbul, he was using his housemate’s copy of Ableton to make symphonic tracks influenced by his love of world and classical music. The turning point came when he put a kick-drum beneath his productions and landed on a sound that’s as much informed by Nicholas Jaar as it is Turkish folk.

Bored of his office job, Şafak started work at his friend’s newly acquired Suma Beach Club in Istanbul. First, he worked as a decorator, later taking up a morning slot as a DJ, using it as a testing ground for his own material. Befriending the numerous DJs passing through the club, Şafak met Brazilian collective Voodoohop who took his music back to São Paulo. It was here that David Benjamin, head of Berlin’s The Magic Movement label, heard Safak’s music and decided to put out his first release. ‘Khronos’ EP dropped on the label in 2015 and he landed gigs outside of Turkey for the first time.

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