Over a decade characterized by constant sci-fi folk, British experimental folk band Tunng has released the fifth album, the Turbines, and now they will take the Turkish stage in Istanbul.
by Burcu Arik Ozer
ISTANBUL - Some bands arrive so fully formed it soon becomes apparent they have nowhere else to go. Others, like futurist-folk six-piece Tunng, never seem to stop evolving. Over a decade characterized by constant sci-fi folk, they've released the fifth album, the Turbines, and now they will take the Turkish stage in Istanbul.
Tunng, starting as a studio project in 2004, formed by Mike Lindsay and Sam Genders in a basement in Soho and experimented with electronica and folk music combined.
"We’re describing our latest record 'Turbines' as our sci-fi folk rock album" says singer/guitarist Mike Lindsay, speaking to the Anadolu Agency (AA).
Tunng have made five records since 2005, Lindsay says. "All of which sound different from the last."
"It was natural in the sense that it was the first record where we all were in the same room at the same time of recording and we now have a drummer.. So it organically lent itself to a prog feel. We also spent three weeks in Benge studio in London which is really an analogue synth museum... This brought the Sci fi sound. Lyrically its all about a fantasy village.. Possibly in the future!!"
The band's pastoral gothic may remain an acquired taste, but there is a special pleasure in seeing a band exploring new byways at their own pace, applying their talents to refinement rather than reinvention.
"With our band, you never really know what's going on!" says Lindsay, adding "But personally I'm really loving playing live at the moment."
"The songs really take on new meaning and flavor. If its the right venue and the right audience it is really such a special thing... I love recording and creating new music.. But I do that everyday... and I don't always play a show.. So right now its the playing that comes out on top" says Lindsay.
Moving to Iceland has affected the band's music artistically, Lindsay says. "It has affected the way I want to make music. Everyone here is so up for helping each other out and working remotely in cabins or in each others studios. It is very much a community which inspires new projects. The landscape is of course totally mind blowing, so that helps. Also there are such amazing musicians here...It's scary!!"
Icelandic artists have great influence on their music, Lindsay says. "Sin Fang, Borko, Low Roar (he is American but lives in Iceland), Samaris, Grúska Babúska, Grísalappalísa are among the most inspiring Icelandic voices."
Lindsay, reminding that the band previously performed in Istanbul, says, "It’s not the first time but Istanbul is definitely one of my favourite cities in the world... Such friendly people, and its open late, always full of energy. The first time we played, Phil and I stayed for a few days and fell in love with the spirit of the city."
"One of my favourite memories is buying the saz... I went to that st with all the music shops.. and before I knew it I was sat down with a cup of tea, two old men and an electric saz... which I then bought and had to find a way to get it back to London!" says Lindsay.
Talking about the band's future projects, Lindsay says, "More touring for now, a few festivals in the summer and we need to get our thinking caps on for the next project... "
The band is open to new suggestions, Lindsay says. "Actually I think a collaboration would be perfect. We work best when we are under pressure.. We are open to suggestions.. Maybe a Turkish band. I have an electric Saz.. So .. I'm ready to go!"
The experimental folk band Tunng will perform at Salon IKSV in Istanbul on February 21.
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