Being music media partners of Saarang, the prime time event (Choreo Night) wasn’t really in the itinerary. But I headed to the IIT Campus anyway to check out our stall, spread some Score goodwill and to sample some world music fare.
You see, besides the larger-than-life pro shows, Saarang 2012 also had some world music acts in the agenda. And I use the term quite liberally. By world music, I essentially mean musicians from other countries take the air-conditioned stage in the SAC (Student Activity Centre)
This time there was Mesparrow, Piano Chat (that I very narrowly missed), DJ Ipek, Bud McMuffin & T Bone from Thailand. Some of these names might ring a bell as they took the stage at the CGMF just before. These names didn’t warrant appeal neither did their music – it wasn’t exactly unheard of, be it rock & roll or house. But as I came to see 19th onwards, IIT-M during Saarang is a congregation of happy, easy-to-please people. And this crazy level of optimism is contagious, mind you.
Ipek In India
A demonstration by this DJ from Germany was followed by a more practical leg as she called out t o everyone from the stands to please hit the dance floor.
At 5 pm, in an enclosed auditorium, without EVEN Red Bull, I witnessed firsthand what I’d like to call:
GEEKS GONE WILD!
Pelvic thrusts, the can-can, the choo choo train – it’s all here.
Trained too hard. Just unwinding, these smart ones.
Do the GROOVINGZ!
I’m personally not too big on trance but Ipek was LOADS of fun! She steered clear from commercial & continued with an interesting set, ample with oriental & Eastern spins to a hyper-as-hell crowd.
Towards the end she incorporated a Desi twist with ‘Mera Jhootha Hai Japani’, leading me to consider abandoning my hideously expensive gadgets andjoining in the frolicking (for the record; didn’t happen. Had to settle for neck bobbing & foot tapping)
An Ipek Exclusive: The Underground Story
In my defense, Google was stumped at Epack (name as printed in schedule). So I knew precious little about Ipek Ipekçioglu but luckily for me, she was perfect interview material – full of anecdotes & crisp opinions.
So yes, this original video was packed with foot-in-mouth moments but I have taken it unto myself to amply reduce your scope for sadistic pleasure by resorting to merciless editing. Mwuh ha ha.
This Ipek India touring is yet another fruit yielded due to Indo German collaboration (‘they’ve got this friendship thing going’)
It’s not everyday that you get to hear firsthand about what it’s like to be a queer DJ in Germany; spinning for all the thumping Bollywood parties – which is apparently what the huge Turkish diaspora shake a leg to. in fact, Bollywood made inroads into their culture as early as the 70s with Rekha & Amitabh Bacchan (whom a very young Ipek thought she resembled). These were the safe flicks that did not show sex & violence. Hindi films were sanctioned by parents & gained a sizeable following.
Ipek cites herself as one of the pioneers of Bollywood music in the underground scene back home, although her repertoire as such is primarily Eastern influenced.
How did DJ-ing happen?
Her account was made even more vivid with the contributions of my seedy, novel-fuelled imagination.
In a club, an organizer guy walked up to her and ticked off all necessary criteria upront (which happened to be Turkish & queer). What followed was a crash course in DJ-ing (with tapes) and a show where no one threw any shoes. And THAT is how Ipek started her career behind the tables!
While in conversation with the lady (who btw exudes coolness very effortlessly), I was briefly introduced to a gem we have right here in India, DJ Mafaiza. An influential part of the dance music scene in India (The Mother of Electronic), I did the journalistic thing & hastily researched her once I got home. And found out she’s spinning at the Spring Zouk fest in Mangalore right now!