Hayvanlar Alemi / label artist &booking
Hayvanlar Alemi got together in secondary school in Ankara in 1999, when they were 14 years old, beginning their musical venture playing hard-and-heavy covers like most teenagers in Ankara, but very soon self-discovered free improvisation and moved into a more avant-garde approach, and later on occasionally deployed traditional instruments, found-sound elements like live radio, and colorful stage theatrics. They were influenced by the new folk-infused experimental rock scene of the late 90s Istanbul, but isolated from any music scene in Ankara, their sound and song-structure diverged from their contemporaries as they incorporated elements from the findings of their musical research into their sound, which included folk, pop and hybrid sounds of South East Asia, East and West Africa, South America and Russia, as well as Jamaican dub reggae, Californian surf, and stoner rock. Throughout the years, the band has moved into a tighter approach in terms of song structure, but leaving sufficient space for collective improvisation.
Hayvanlar Alemi began self-releasing cdrs in 2004. Their first official album “Gaga” was released by Ankara label 003 Records in 2006, and their second album “Guarana Superpower”, mostly culled from tracks from their cdrs from 2007 to 2009, was released by Seattle label Sublime Frequencies in 2010, followed by a cover of Mulatu Astatke’s Ethiopian instrumental piece “Yekermo Sew” on seven inch vinyl. After the release of Guarana Superpower which received positive reviews from publications such as The Guardian, Uncut and Wire, Hayvanlar Alemi opened for Group Doueh in London’s Barbican Centre and played a surprise performance at All Tomorrow’s Parties Festival Curated by Animal Collective. Since then they have been touring routinely and presenting their music to live audiences in Europe. The band's third official album "Twisted Souvenirs", which was recorded in 2011 and 2012, came out on vinyl on Germany-based label Unrock, and on digital format on the band’s own digital label Inverted Spectrum Records, which has also released “Tyro”, the first solo album by the band’s guitar player Özüm İtez, and the band’s first full-concert album “Live in Krefeld 2014”. An old cdr with dub influences, “Visions of a Psychedelic Ankara” was reissued on vinyl on Germany-based label Glitterbeat in 2015 with bonus tracks. In 2016, a psychedelic cumbia-inspired single, “Equatorial Lies”, came out under the online Argentinian label Pakapi Records. Hayvanlar Alemi’s latest release is a retrospective compilation, "Altın Serüvenler (15 Golden Adventures)" which came out on Istanbul-based Shalgam Records in early 2018, and also includes one new song,"Adventures in Addis". The band is currently finishing up two new albums.
Hayvanlar Alemi consists of Özüm İtez, Işık Sarıhan, Hazar Mutgan and Gökçe Başar. As they have been separated by geographical boundaries since 2006, the band has a flexible repertoire which allows them to play in power-duo and power-trio formations as well. In the past few years, Hayvanlar Alemi mostly toured with an old-school three piece set up with drums (Sarıhan), bass (Mutgan) and electric guitar (İtez), with an emphasis on heavy psychedelic rock. Band's name translates to English as "Animal Kingdom". Outside music, band members work in the fields of architecture, engineering, physics and philosophy.