buttonFestival Konda Lota 2006
feat. Mercan Dede & Secret Tribe
@ Tokyu Bunkamura Theater Cocoon (4th Oct '06)

Mercan Dede & Secret Tribe

Sufi Cool: Mercan Dede Sends Us Spinning

Mercan Dede & Secret Tribe
      When most people think of Turkish tradition, they usually think dervishes and bearded men drinking tea in a Mosque, not DJs with mohawks in a concert hall. But last night at Shibuya's Theater Cocoon, Instanbul's Mercan Dede proved that these two seemingly disparate facets of Turkish society dovetail into an electrifying live show.

Mercan Dede & Secret Tribe      Located in Shibuya's Bunkamura center, Theater Cocoon isn't your typical live house. With a 2-level balcony, proper stage and carpeted lobby, this is where one usually sees more conventional performances of dance or classical music. The crowd reflected these traits: I spotted more jewelry and sport coats than shorts and sandals, but found it refreshing to see young socialites mingling with old hippies - the crusty and the upper crust under one roof, as it were.

      Mercan Dede's music certainly speaks to both. His roots in Sufi traditions attract world music buffs, while his skills as a DJ and producer draw out club kids the world over.

Mercan Dede & Secret Tribe      The curtain rises with Dede behind the decks, flanked by a clarinetist, percussionist, and two robed men sitting cross-legged on plush Persian rugs. To the side sits a harpist, the tones of his strings not unlike a Koto. Dede acts as both DJ and conductor, playing the flute and various finger cymbals while leading his trio through beat-ridden passages and into extended ambient atmospherics. Like the ocean noises that began the show, Dede and company's music rises and recedes in swells of cinematic drama, each number evoking both Sufi spirituality and urban nightlife.

Mercan Dede & Secret Tribe      It's not long before the first few rows empty out to dance in the aisles, and it's apparent that many of these nubile revelers are belly-dancing students. Dede is thrilled with this, and says as much. Strangely, though he leads the group straight into a more somber piece, which forces the dancers to return to their seats. Not long after however, the men on the carpet stand to dance, and to my surprise, as they step onto the stage I can see that they were not men at all but beautiful women! (I was in the balcony). Yet instead of belly-dancing, these women performed the transcendent dance of the whirling dervishes. Like Dede's decks, they spun in place, their clothes fluttering around them as if invisible children pulled at their edges. Through intense clarinet and tabla solos, they turned, seemingly unaware of the cacophony around them.

      Dede and crew were called back for two encores. His willful eclecticism may be criticized by Turkish conservatives, but his mix of past and future is truly hypnotizing. And if that breaks with tradition, then so be it.
Mercan Dede & Secret Tribe
report by jinki and photos by hanasan
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Festival Konda Lota 2006

buttonmag files : Mercan Dede & Secret Tribe

buttonSufi Cool: Mercan Dede Sends Us Spinning : (06/10/04 @ Tokyu Bunkamura Theater Cocoon ) : review by jinki, photos by hanasan
buttonphoto report : (06/10/04 @ Tokyu Bunkamura Theater Cocoon ) : photos by hanasan

The official site

Mercan Dede & Secret Tribe


check him? -->Mercan Dede

The latest album

Mercan Dede & Secret Tribe

(UK import)

previous works

Mercan Dede & Secret Tribe

(国内盤 / US import / UK import)

"Kingdom of Heaven" (US import)
"Sufi Traveler" (US import)
"Seyahatname" (UK import)
"Nar" (UK import)
"Journeys of a Dervish" (US import / Mercan Dede - Journeys of a Dervish)
"Sufi Dreams" (US import)

check the albums?


buttonSufi Cool: Mercan Dede Sends Us Spinning : Mercan Dede & Secret Tribe (4th Oct. @ Tokyu Bunkamura


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