Ladies on Records
60s & 70s Female Music
Latest audio files from the project
News & Updates
Check out the news and results of the Ladies on Records project!
Crossroads podcast: Turkey’s forgotten female music stars
Enjoy podcast about Turkish Female Music for The National Abu Dabi
I had a pleasure to talk to John Dennehy from The National about Ladies on Records.
00:00: Yaz Gazeteci Yaz - Selda
01:24: Hakali Seker - Zerrin Zeren
02:48: Almanya Donosu - Zehra Shah
04:30: Sevdiğim Adam - Ajda Pekkan
07:04: Utan Utan - Selda
Podcast to listen here
Text in The National
"Turkish revivalism: remembering the forgotten musical divas of the 60s and 70s"
"I am interested in music that was once very important and reflected the spirit of the times but which is now just a shadow of the past. It can be heard on dusty records found in Turkey’s old record shops. The scratched, sleeveless black gold that I collect very often looks like trash. Many of the artists have passed away or are very old. In most cases, they live but are long forgotten.
Turkish female music of the 1960s and 1970s is my passion. Choosing Turkey however, was not a coincidence. This type of music has been growing in popularity among European DJs and music collectors. It’s difficult to pinpoint an exact date, but an important one was 2006 when Eothen “Egon" Alapatt, founder of US label Now–Again Records, created a Turkish funk mix for the influential Los Angeles-based Stones Throw Records. He paid tribute to the king of psychedelic Anatolian rock – Baris Manco, who was unknown in Europe..."
Read the text here
Interview on renk. Magazine
“Music is a Window to Culture” – The Story behind Ladies on Records.
Ladies on Records in Dwutygodnik
Agata Pyzik asks me about Turkish female music from 60s and 70s
My story about Esmeray on CNN Turk
CNN Turk found my story originally written for The National and covered it in their news.
I am very happy to find my story about Esmeray on CNN Turk - the most popular Turkish news page. It seems like Esmeray's message will be heard louder here in her homeland form now on.
Will Esmeray's records soon become most wanted ones?! Let's see how it works.
Hopefully CNN Turk will give reference to original text in The National - that I wrote this text for... ;)
Esmeray: the untold story of an Afro-Turk music star - essay for The National
Get to know Esmeray and her important message
I have been discovering Turkish female music by digging in forgotten dusty record shops of Kadıköy and Eminönü. Each of the locations has its specific atmosphere and vibe. I found my first record of Esmeray in a small shop of Eminönü – a part of Istanbul where the call of muezzins seems to be louder, mosques bigger and more beautiful. This is the neighbourhood where deep sound of arabesque music and Arabic language can be heard more often.
I started to be obssessed with Esmeray and searched for her music like an addict. I asked about „this amazing jazz vocalist“ from 70s, but soon I was to discover that nobody ever perceived Esmeray as a jazz singer. Remembered as a soldier diva from TV, I was to explore her blues, deep path on my own way.
Check out the text about Esmeray for The National - Abu Dabi cultural magazine:
Turkish Ladies - new mixtape from Ladies on Records - 2nd in Vinyl Only chart of Mixtape
During 5 days it was listened by more than 1500 people, commented and reposted many times.
After few months of digging and exploring I decided to create a mixtape of only Turkish female singers. You can check the result and listen to a live recording of only vinyl tunes. Unknown songs of Tülay German, Rana Alagöz, Zerrin Zerren, Esmeray and many others. Check out!
Ladies on Records in ReOrient
An article about Turkish female music in 60s and 70s was published.
Digging in records goes together with historical and social research. While my stay in Istanbul I am constantly do both. Music is the best way to understand history of the country. Female music is the best way to see what was position of Turkish women in arts in 60s and 70s. Enjoy the text published in one of the most interesting Middle Eastern magazines from Canada - ReOrient.
Ladies on Records Project goes to Hungary, Turkey and Israel
Coming back to the motherland of Turkish sound
From the moment I came back home, I knew I want to come to Istanbul to dig more and understand more. It is happening now. Check if we can meet:
25/11 - Platán Galéria/ Budapest/ Hungary
26/11 - Auróra / Budapest/ Hungary
4/12 - COOP/ Istanbul/ Turkey
11/12 - Port Said/ Tel Aviv/ Israel
12/12 - Romano רומנו / Tel Aviv/ Israel
16/12 - Arkoada/ İstanbul/ Turkey
19/12 - minimüzikhol Istanbul/ Turkey
25/12 - DUNIA/ Istanbul/ Turkey
Tülay German and Burçak Tarlası
Freedom fighter on exile
Turkish music scene in 60s and 70s was flourishing. More and more female artists started they carrier thanks to growing demand for beautiful and European looking girls. Blond hair, short skirt, high heals were a sign of modern and full of prosperity life. Young and beautiful singers covered European, mostly French, songs and changed their accent for being more from there.
Amongst all of these artists, there was one dark hair jewel Her name was Tülay German. Having great musical education, she was looking for something different - in music and life. Her musical exploration led her more towards combination of jazz and traditional turkish music. Her life attitiude led her to revolution and communism.
Before I started my trip, I listened to Tülay German on the mixtape of Mehmet Aslan, I digged and found Burçak Tarlası song. I wrote in my travel notebook: "Burçak Tarlası is the key". And I was right.
The song tells a story of young woman workig on the field, forced by mother-in-law to slavery hard work. The song calls women to raise their heads and stand up for their rights.
I woke up in the morning
There was the sound of azan
Not the sound of a prayer
There was the grief of the vetch
Look at this evil
How many fields he has
Look how hard it is to pull vetches
To be a bride in vetches field
Don't bow you head, I would leave
I will ruin your life and leave
I waved my hand and it touched a thorn
I cursed the one who sowed vetch
Oh mother in law
May your life come to the end
Translation by Levant Sevi
This beautiful song is rare example of women rights and freedom awareness music in Turkey. Besides social and political impact of the tune, this song is just extremely matured and well composed.
And the voice of Tülay German! Wow! Reminds me of Polish singer from the same period of time, whose name is ... Anna German! I don't believe in coincidence - I believe in miracles!
Tülay German was a freedom fighter - in music and in her deeds. She emigrated to Paris and joined communists there. Lives in exile till now.
Big thanks to Murat Meriç - amazing music journalist and dj, who I heard her story from and who gave me the most beautiful EP of Tülay German for a birthday present!
Ladies on Records' visual identity is ready!
Check out the logo and key visual of the project
I am very happy to cooperate with wonderful graphic designer - Tomasz Jurecki. We discussed for hours what Ladies on Records project is now and where it is heading to... and the visual concept is absolutely amazing.
It is feminine and vintage at the same time. The logo brings the vibe of old record labels from 70s and this is what makes this project perfect.
You can check Tomasz's other work here
Meeting with Selda Bağcan
The heroine of Turkish psychedellic scene talked to me about her art and revolutionary values behind her music.
- How do you see the role of Turkish women singers in telling about important stuff, about social justice, political rights, equality etc.?
- This is the issue of all muslim world. Still Turkey is the best and easy going in comparison to any other muslim country. Even if it is not so obvious, you have to remember that in Turkey we have secularism. Actually - women rights and equality - I don’t really see these issues in terms of troubles or problems here in Turkey. Actually, it was not that difficult those days.
I chose rock, psychedellic rock’n’roll as the way of my expression. That was my approach to life and also to music. When I started to record and perform, I was a university student and I belonged to '68 generation. It was also here in Turkey a rebellion generation. This movement was vivid mostly in France and Germany. And actually we wanted to be communists.
- Who was your favourite female musician at this perdiod? Who inspired you the most?
- I was impressed only by one woman. American singer, but originally from Italy. Connie Francis. In Turkey - no woman musician I was really influenced or inspired by.
Full interview to be published soon.
About Ladies on Records
I left beautiful job and comfortable vision of future to follow passion for female music.
Ladies on Records is a personal journey into music and culture. You can join me anytime and explore the world of 60s and 70s singing beauties from around the world. Ladies on Records is a dream to encounter female musicians from various cultures and worlds through dusty records and blurred memories.
As a first beloved destination I chose Turkey.
On September 9th 2015 I took a plane to Istanbul via Budapest and since my first day I dived in women music. For next 3 weeks I was to search and find extraordinary music; meet and talk with interesting and open minded people who shared with me their passion for music.
Turkish music from 70s has become explored again now - not only by Turkish but also international music amateurs. LPs and EPs of heros of psychedelic scene - Barış Manço, Cem Caraca, Moğollar, Erkin Koray, Edip Akbayram started to be rare and expensive. Men oriented Turkish scene flourished with reeditions and reissues, feeding djs and record collectors from around the world.
Turkish music scene though in 60s and 70s was the golden period of female music. And it was mindblowing. Turkey as a moderate islamic country, secularized by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, was stretched between Europe and Middle East. The position of women in Turkish music industry is interesting and inspiring. In 60s women finally gained possibility to express themselves more freely. Music of the time was the gate to freedom. It happened everywhere - in Europe, America and Asia.
That is why my exploration started with Turkey - the land of the most prolific and interesting music scene of the time. Turkish identity, well expressed in Anatolian rock, consisted of many cultural patterns – Persian, Arabic, Greek, Ottoman and traditional Turkish folk music, blended all together with western modern pop and rock music. Who were the female singers of the time? How did they find the way to change their social position through music?
While music of Turkey from 60s and 70s reached its popularity outside the country few years ago, I found Selda Bağcan - the heroine of Turkish psychedelic scene. But when I was looking for more female musicians I almost got nothing - compilations of Turkish music was heavy with men names, with a very few women artists. After a while Kamuran Akkor came to the surfce of memory brought by Light in the Attic label. That is it. I decided to go and search for the Ladies on my own.
I went to Istanbul to take a look at Turkish progressive and psychdelic scene from female perspective and find its feminine element. I spent 3 weeks on cataloguing and exploring the role of women in Anadolu and Arabesque music if 60s and 70s. I explored, searched records, talk to artists and common people who love the music of the time. I listened to the music and brought it to you.
And now I am coming back to dig more.
next gigs and sessions
Ladies on Records perform on Pera Müzesi'nde Uzun Bir Gece: Parti! | A Long Night at Pera Museum: Party!
18:30 – 20:00 Ladies on Records
20:00 – 21:30 Toprak Basgit
21:30 – 23:00 Grup Ses Beats
Meşrutiyet Caddesi No: 65 Tepebaşı, Beyoğlu,
The whole life I was searching for deep and true connection between music and culture. I did it when I was a small girl singing a song about colorful elephants - where each of them was wearing different ribbon, I was doing it as a director of MiŚ Documentary Film Festival about Music, and as a program manager of Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow and I have been doing it till now as a record collector and dj, exploring music of 60s and 70s.