In 2007, inspired by Barış Manço and Moğollar, Burakete, a.k.a. Burak Fahri İçer, started his first party in Cologne. The party series, Türkische Delikatessen (en. Turkish Delicacies – ed.), later Süperdisko, was born. Unlike a typical Turkish pop party, Burakete’s style of music is best described as “Oriental Psychedelic”. The city-wide-known DJ and party organizer met with renk. in the hip neighborhood of Ehrenfeld surrounded by a retro atmosphere, warm light, cakes and coffee.
Burakete is a quite unusual pseudonym. How did you come up with it?
It was more or less given to me. Towards the beginning of my career, I called myself BuRaki. A friend from Stuttgart began calling me Burakete, and more and more of my friends began referring to me as Burakete, too. One day I wrote it on a poster and it stuck.
Speaking of your posters, they always make people chuckle. Do you design them yourself?
Ever since the beginning of the party series, I have designed the flyers myself. Especially back then, my Photoshop skills were not exactly advanced.
The posters are mostly collages of Turkish images, record covers or film posters with my Photoshopped face on them.
Now, my skills are a little bit better and the posters look a little bit more professional (laughs).
Let’s talk about your parties. They are explicitly different from mainstream Turkish parties. How would you describe your style?
I don’t know how to describe such a genre, but I think the label “Oriental Psychedelic” covers a large portion of my music. I like mixing Oriental sounds from the 60s and 70s with Turkish pop, psychedelic sounds, Turkish rock’n’roll and surf music, which doesn’t really have anything to do with Turkish sounds at all.
More than anything, my sound has become considerably more electronic over the years.
You speak about old Turkish sounds and electronic beats. Which of your idols inspired you?
Barış Manço has always inspired me. I think he is amazing – both as a person as well as as an artist. The rock group Moğollar is also one of the bands that truly changed the musical landscape of Turkey and influenced me a lot as well.
I also think younger artists such as Kabus Kerim, Barış K. and Mehmet Aslan are cool. These guys are really developing music with their innovative creations. Just like newer bands such as Baba Zula, who have created an entirely new fusion and become internationally known, and who I also enjoy listening to.
All of these artists are passionate about music and put their whole heart into it. This is also very important for me and my music.
Still, your music is quite out of the ordinary. What type of audience comes to your parties?
Sometimes I myself am really surprised how well it resonates with people who do not have a Middle-Eastern background. It is a very diverse audience, including the second and third generation of Turks who want to hear the old Turkish sound, as well as the fourth generation who are discovering and are interested in their roots. There are also many people without a Turkish background, including Germans with and without a migrant background.
The audience is very open-minded. They really get into the music at the parties.
But that wasn’t the case when your parties were still called Turkish Delicacies, was it?
Back then, people had a different idea of what my parties were. They were automatically labelled as Turkish, and sometimes I would be uninvited by owners with the justification being that people wanted to listen to electronic music on Saturday nights.
No one was really interested in the fact that I was playing Turkish music with electronic sounds.
That prejudice kept me out of gigs, and at some point, I chose to drop the “Turkish” and changed the name to “Süperdisko”.
Where have you hosted Süperdisko?
I have been all over Germany, including Berlin and several festivals such as Melt of the Birlikte Festival in Cologne. But it isn’t just contained to Germany anymore, including not only Brussels and Rotterdam, but also Bangkok. A year ago I played a gig in a small shop for 50 guests, who were interested in Turkish sounds. That was an amazing experience.
Does your music have a message?
That there are no borders. Everything flows and changes. The more we come together, the easier living amongst each other is, and the better our understanding of each other. I also want to deconstruct stereotypes about Turkey with my events. Even educated people have certain ideas about Turkey and see Turks like me as the exception to the rule.
I believe that it is part of my job to show that we are not exceptions to the rule, but the rule itself.
I am happy here in Germany, because it is my home. But because of the current political relations between Turkey and Germany, it is often clear that people still harbor certain prejudices. I would like to move past this one-dimensional perspective and push people to discover more commonalities and develop more understanding for one other.
Fotografie: Murat Surat
Text: Erdal Erez