[Q&A] Alpan Aytekin: The network of friends among the Balkans is growing over the years

Broken Balkanz Festival is the oldest DnB fest in Eastern Europe. It's also the first Open Air in Bulgaria and the only musical gathering of the artists and fans from all around the Balkan peninsula. Each year the event offers a intense program of over 40 hours non-stop music, more than 40 artists and incessant entertainment in various places in Bulgaria. Over the years the festival has always held near Sofia: Balsha, Vladaya, Katina, Malo Buchino and others. At the event was attended by artists of the caliber of: The Sect, Spor, Current Value, Dony, Mefjus, J Majik, Noisia, Shy FX, LTJ Bookem, Dilinja and many many more

This year will be held the fifteenth edition of Broken Balkanz. Especially for the anniversary, the organizers of HMSU decided, only artists from the Balkan peninsula to take part in the festival. Among the guests we can see the big names of: Bilain, Treo & Crimsonix (Splasheads), Insom, Telekinesis, Disphonia, L 33, all the residents from the peninsula and many bulgarian DnB and Bass artists.

The event will take place on Vitosha mountain, near the hut Momina Skala. Tickets are already on sale.

See also:

Broken Balkanz - Facebook Event
Broken Balkanz - Official Page
Full Coverage by Bass Blog /by DutZie/
Tickets: Eventim / TicketLogic

One of the regular participants of the festival in recent years is the resident from Turkey - Alpan Aytekin. He is entirely dedicated to DnB music and has a very diverse style that includes many bass elements and subgenres. Alpan is both DJ and producer. His tracks always sound different. His mixes and podcasts always offer a different look at the Bass-Culture, which has never focused on just one style and always presents a grand tour through the DnB music.

In the following few lines, Alpan will tell us about himself, about his career (past, present and future), about his experiences trough the Broken Balkanz editions and some funny moments from the festival. Have a nice reading!

Alpan Aytekin in Soundcloud



Bass Blog [BB]: Hello Alpan! You're the main Turkish participant of the festival. Tell us more about the Drum and Bass in Turkey! Are there many artists and organizations in your country?

Alpan Aytekin [AA]: Hi there! Drum and Bass is around Turkey since the mid 90’s in a very very underground way. Da Frogg, Underdog, Ruffkutz (Flatliners/King Fifi) and Golem were the early DJs that kept it underground from the early days of club Godet (now closed) in Istanbul.  Today there are nearly 10 DJs in the scene and some of them are producers as well. Golem (who produces as Psychomantis along with Gantz), Flatliners (a.k.a King Fifi), Da Frogg, Madcow (owner of club Pixie Underground), Irfan D, Dubstract and myself as Fall From Cloud. There are also newcomers like Dyln and Harder. It all revolves around the club Pixie Underground thanks to the owner who truly is dedicated to this music. Two clubs Peyote and Arkaoda also allow for Drum and Bass nights rarely. DNB ISTANBUL is a community that has been there since 2008 but serves no more than an appreciation community on Facebook recently. There are not much people who follow this music like in Bulgaria. The very few people who follow the music seriously become DJs eventually :) 

BB: It seems like the Dubstep is well developed in Turkey. You have many big artists such as Kahn, Gantz, El Mahdy Jr. And the Istanbul crew with Nyan, Ex Nihilo and many more. Does the Dubstep scene is bigger than the DnB scene in your country?

Yeah Gantz is our dubstep superstar and sadly none of the promoters, festival organizers or club owners in Turkey are aware of his fame in the global dubstep scene. True story. I guess this shame explains for itself about the “scene”. El Mahdy Jr. and Ex Nihilo are also keeping up with good work. Although there are exceptional successful producers here, the scene is not bigger than DnB. We can say is it’s quite equal. Just in the hands of few people.

BB: When did you start listening to DnB? When did you start mixing and producing? How difficult it was for you in the beginning?

AA: To be honest I was terrible music consumer. I was looking new genres of music, trying to find meaning in 4-to-the-floor 128 BPM tunes.  In 2008, I came across with the set of DJ Aki in Womb Club in Tokyo during a business trip. He dropped DC Breaks – Mankind. I was amazed. The moment of the video is available online thanks to the Internet age : https://youtu.be/vQEQrsVQWC8?t=136. I’ve known Drum and Bass from the 90’s but I never thought it survived this long at that time. Besides, there was this “club effect”. The music you hear from the sound system is never the same music you hear from consumer electronics outputs. That’s how I started an interest in DnB. My interest drag me along to club Pixie Underground where I met Madcow and he showed me how to DJ. I couldn’t find an alias for long time until I decided to use Fall From Cloud in 2014. I used to draw stick men falling off from clouds when I was eight. The origin of “Fall From Cloud” comes from that. And there was producing, oh I rather don’t want to talk about that. Sometimes I make good stuff by chance and sometimes (or most of the time) it doesn’t just click. I’m still learning and my learning curve is very slow.

BB: You have a really nice track with Mocks, called "Marduk". Do you think about new collaborations with some artists from the Balkan peninsula?

AA: Marduk was done very spontaneously and luckily it got released by m-Atome. We collaborated in two more tunes in 2013 but who knows if they will ever be released. I think Mocks and Konspirator are doing very well in High Roll. There are no collabs from Balkans in the horizon but I’m always positive towards collabs. I prefer “2 producers in a room” kind of ones, not the collabs that are done by exchanging stems online. The first option can serve as a good production workshop at the same time.

BB: How many times have you participate at Broken Balkanz? Do you have some crazy moments from the festival?

AA: I have been participating in this festival since 2011 thanks to the connection of Adnan, Martin’s friend from university. Let me see.. in my first year, my wallet got stolen. That got me in to some stressful couple of hours. In 2013, I couldn’t endure the nocturnal cold temperature of mount Vitosha and went to sleep so I couldn’t listen to the sets of Nymfo and Mefjus. Mount Vitosha’s nights are really really cold for me. I try to take extra precaution every year.

BB: What you like the most at the festival?

AA: Probably everybody would say the same. It’s the network of friends among The Balkans that grows over the years and the energy of the Bulgarian crowd. I don’t see this festival as a commercial event. I see it more like a annual gathering of a community. HMSU is an amazing crew.

BB: The things at the Balkans are changing very fast. Every year Broken Balkanz festival gathers positive fans from all around the peninsula. Do you think, that the music can unite the countries at the region?

AA: Totally agree. Like I said, the network of friends among the Balkans is growing over the years. I had lots of friends visiting me in Istanbul, thanks to this festival. Aside from music there is my love for Liutenitsa! It connects people.

BB: Are you working on some new tracks and releases? Have you got music projects, different from DnB?

AA: My production is in a slow state and I don’t feel like forcing myself in to making music. Blowing out my reference monitors discourages me. I’ve done that twice. I have a deep half beat DnB track that will be released in a local compilation called “In The Void”. I have two unsigned tracks other than that. Aside from DnB, I made two 140 BPM tracks under my side Project “Fitrah” three years ago. I was under the influence of the works of Hecq at that time. Also I used to compose music and design sound for games, but stopped doing it because the market wasn’t growing and the pay was bad. The last game project “Monochroma” which I worked as the sound effects designer and audio director passed the target donation in Kickstarter and got released in Steam platform

BB: Besides the music, have you got other hobbies and activities? 

AA: I ride my skateboard but no fancy tricks (no tricks at all). I bought a skimboard this summer and tried it once. It’s really hard! I find my self slammed on the sand everytime. Also I like to make weird stuff using the Arduino microcontroller.

BB: Thank you for your time! Wish something the readers!

AA: Big up HMSU! May the Liutenitsa be with you! Haydi!

More interviews are comming soon. Stay in touch!

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