Boiler Room Presents “Istanbul Psychedelia: BaBa ZuLa”

Boiler Room went on a trip into the world of Istanbul psychedelia with BaBa ZuLa – one of the most prolific bands to come out of Istanbul’s underground scene in recent musical history.

In this seven minute long mini-documentary, they chronicle the rich history of BaBa ZuLa and why the group’s homeland formed who they are. Here, Producer/Director Martina Piazza and Co-Producer/Programmer Debora Ipekel explain why they chose to take a more in-depth look into BaBa ZuLa’s history.

What made you want to share that story / what was the initial inspiration behind the project?

Debora: I grew up in Istanbul listening to BaBa ZuLa. Their ritual-like performance, extraordinary energy and activism blows my mind every time. While many contemporary bands in Turkey directly imitate the western sound, BaBa ZuLa bring elements of their roots in a clever way – their music is born out of Istanbul. After they released their 20th anniversary compilation abum “XX” I thought a short documentary and a Boiler Room party would be the perfect occasion to celebrate their legacy in Istanbul’s underground. They’re one of the most important bands coming out of Turkey and we had to showcase them in our global platform.

What did you discover about the band during the filming?

Martina: BaBa ZuLa are a group of exceptional human beings, who managed to carve an artistic life from their utopias and madness. Hanging out with them was incredibly inspiring and a lot of fun.

Why do you think it’s an important document for younger music heads around the world?

Martina: BaBa ZuLa are real music shamans, their music is a fusion of traditional Anatolian instruments with electronics, dub, psychedelia and poetry. Their sound is spiritually powerful, it could at the same time lull the listener into a trance and act like a wake up call to fight for freedom! Who wouldn’t want to put this gem on their sound library?

What are you most proud of looking back on the making of the mini-doc and its release?

Martina: I’m happy we made a film about them which looks like them. BaBa ZuLa were incredibly open to show us their world and speak about their truths. It felt like a trip into a parallel universe.. and what a landscape!

Producer/Director: Martina Piazza
Co-Producer & Programmer: Debora Ipekel
Director of Photography: Rachel Clark
Editor: Nathan Greenwood
Sound Recordist: Oğuzhan Akalın
Production Manager: Elspeth Vince
Sound Mix: Evan Campbell
VFX: Stefan Iyapah