Discrepant recently released (or I’d better say re-released, as it was originally released by Turkish label Wounded Wolf Press) Loopworks, a collection of tracks that Turkish audio and visual artist Koray Kantarcioğlu made by means of the process known as databending. Most of the sonic sources came from old Turkish records (mainly of the 60s or 70s) whose samples were transformed by a series of effects. This formula has been matched to the recent outputs by James Leyland Kirby as The Caretaker and its ‘haunted ballroom’ effect, but according to the introductory words attached to the record, “Kirby connects more with the idea of memory and its disappearance/transformation, Koray Kantarcioğlu explores the usage and the dynamic of these sounds as ambient music for different scenarios and the importance of a new-found life of the raw material he used to create these songs.” Let’s give voice to Koray to talk about his interesting art, then…
Chain D.L.K.: Hi, Koray! How are you?
Koray Kantarcioğlu: Happy with the recent re-release of Loopworks 🙂
Chain D.L.K.: It was a great surprise to find an artist from Atay Ilgun’s imprint Wounded Wolf Press on Discrepant. We had a talk some years ago as I found the artists, who were re-united on his label, extremely interesting…and maybe you were one of them. How did you meet Ilgun and his editorial project?
Koray Kantarcioğlu: I met him after my solo drawing exhibition in 2013. He wanted to release a monograph from WWP including my landscape drawings. We ended up adding a complimentary mixed CD with the ambient/drone material I produced. (http://www.woundedwolfpress.co.uk/portfolio/bitmap-landscapes-2/) Later I released Loopworks from WWP in 2016 as 100pcs tape.
Chain D.L.K.: ‘Loopworks’ itself, the album on the likewise appreciated label Discrepant, came out on WWP before (in 2016, as far as I know). How did Discrepant meet your sound?
Koray Kantarcioğlu: Actually, I was in contact with Discrepant back in 2011 for different projects. Somehow we lost contact after some point. Last year, we found out that my emails went to their spam folder. So after a long pause, I presented some material I had to Discrepant, including Loopworks. That’s how it happened.
Chain D.L.K.: I really appreciated the whole collection of loops, so let’s dig deeper into it as you dug deeper into old Turkish records to grab some samples…first of all, would you like to introduce some of them to us?
Koray Kantarcioğlu: The whole Loopworks Lp is made from samples I took from 8 records, mostly in jazz, funk and folk genres. The titles of the tracks come from catalog numbers of the records, except a few.
I don’t want listeners to be influenced by the source material, and that’s why I keep the originals to myself.
Unlike Caretaker’s music, I tried to melt nuances of the original material.
Chain D.L.K.: Some tracks (“22 47 91 Take 1,” for instance) keep the typical hiss of vinyl, yet…any technical issues in grabbing some of the above mentioned samples due to the age of the original support?
Koray Kantarcioğlu: I used a typical turntable to rip the tracks I wanted to work on. I actually enjoy the byproducts of the mediums. So, I’m happy with the crackles and hiss. I also made poor quality mp3s of some samples I took on purpose, to insert that whistle kind of noise to the mix. You can hear that on AC RU 29 Part 2.
Chain D.L.K.: I had the impression (particularly on the tracks on side A) that there was a sort of sonic glue that joined together the tracks, sounding different but homogeneous at the same time… Could this ‘glue’ be what has been described as the ‘haunted ballroom’ effect?
Koray Kantarcioğlu: The tracks on the album were made between 2009 – 2016, and there are many unreleased ones I put aside. I selected tracks that give the feeling you mentioned. Also, the overall use of same kind of reverb, delay and granular effects also has an important part.
Chain D.L.K.: Any of your loop works that really hypnotized or hit you to the point that you had the urge to listen to it in your mind for days and days after recording?
Koray Kantarcioğlu: These are the ones: 500606, 22 47 91 Take 1, Organic Extract KP 001, AC RU 29 Part 2, AC RU 29 Loop TK2.
Chain D.L.K.: Are there any nuances that a Turkish listener will perceive better than a non-Turkish one in your opinion? If yes, any hints?
Koray Kantarcioğlu: Actually, no. For instance, there are some words you hear on ‘263 Loop,’ which is sampled from a random part of a sentence in a folk song and doesn’t make sense for a Turkish listener, either. My aim was to create abstract sound textures from material that’s familiar to me.
Chain D.L.K.: What’s the source for AC RU 29 (I guess the same for the five tracks whose title include this tag)?
Koray Kantarcioğlu: Tracks starting with AC RU are all from the same LP, which is a Turkish pop jazz record from the late 70s.
Chain D.L.K.: Are you going to join these Loopworks to your activity as a visual artist as well?
Koray Kantarcioğlu: I already did. The complimentary mixed audio cd of my monograph ‘Bitmap Landscapes’ includes some material from Loopworks, too. The theme of constant erosion is one of the recurring elements of my landscape drawings, and tracks in Loopworks gives me a similiar kind of feeling.
Chain D.L.K.: Any work in progress?
Koray Kantarcioğlu: I have other projects coming soon on Discrepant under different monikers. There may be a new volume of Loopworks in the future. It may be a collaborative project with local musicians.
visit Koray Kantarcioğlu on the web at: www.koraykantarcioglu.com