As any fan of underground techno-house knows, keeping up with the vast amount of new artists, labels, and releases appearing each and every week can be a daunting task. So when a genuinely fresh and exciting talent comes along, it‟s worth paying attention.
Such is the case with Istanbul native Ahmet Sisman, who in the space of just two years has become one of the most hotly tipped DJ-Producer-Live Acts around. With a string of killer releases on Cocoon, Lessizmore and Dumb-Unit – not to mention his own Slash Label – Ahmet‟s dynamic style incorporates all that is good about quality club music right now, fusing next-level studio skill with power, movement, and some serious club-slaying grooves. Percussive, futuristic, and dripping with bass, the Sisman sound is the antidote to the looped-up laziness
that's been so prevalent in house and techno of late.
As a teenager growing up in Istanbul, Ahmet‟s early musical influences were deeply eclectic, incorporating everything from Britpop to traditional Turkish folk music, from Mozart to Grandmaster Flash. If you listen carefully, you can hear some of this rich patchwork of influences in his music now, particularly in his almost classical approach to arrangements and textures.
“The point is that in Istanbul, you hear music everywhere,” he explains, “At home, on the streets, everywhere. So not getting in touch with music is nearly impossible.” It was a chance encounter with Underworld‟s „Born Slippy‟, however, that set Ahmet‟s focus towards the limitless possibilities offered by electronic dance music. Although the Turkish techno scene was almost non-existent at the
time, a trip to Germany in 2005 opened Ahmet's eyes to the real deal. “It was love at first sight!” he exclaims. “Straight away, becoming a DJ and and playing in those clubs became my biggest ambition.” The same year, he started his own parties at Unperfkethaus in Essen, inviting DJs like Onur Özer, Dapayk, Phono and Einmusik to spin.
Soon enough, Ahmet began to produce his own sounds, and 2008 sent his first demo to well-respected imprint Lessizmore – who signed him very same day. Working tribal flourishes amidst ominous, pulsing atmospherics, the ‘Hiyan’ EP was the first flowering of the sound Ahmet continues to develop and refine today. His next EP (this time for Stock5) came to the attention of techno overlord Sven Vath, who licensed ‘Buiya’ from the EP for his zeitgeist-defining „Sound of The Ninth Season‟ mix CD, and the track went on to become one of 2008's defining underground hits.
Meanwhile, Ahmet was building up steam as a DJ, and has played all over the world at clubs like Cocoon, Watergate, Harry Klein (DE), Arma17 (RU), Rex (FR), Fuse (BE) and many more. Whether rocking the prime time floors or going deeper and more hypnotic for the late hours, for Ahmet, it's all about finding that perfect groove. "A perfect groove is half the job on the dancefloor," he explains. "Doesn't matter if it's house, or techno, or inbetween. I think it's also important to use interesting melodies, vocals, orchestral strings - the things that add a certain character to a track." And while he's fond of tracky, hypnotic club tracks, don't expect the kind of dull, looped up tribal tech-house that's boring dancefloors to death the world over. "From my point of view the artist should put soul into his music and tell a story, so I can't stand this stupid loopbased house music that's so hip now. I don't feel that kind of music. When I like a track, I need to be able to play and listen to it many times before I get bored."
The same philosophy is behind Slash Label, the imprint Ahmet set up in 2009 with his good friend Tim aka Pherox as a platform for their own music. In the space of five releases, the label's small roster (formed of Ahmet, Pherox, and their friend Nico) has already firmly established itself in the scene - indeed, the label's very first release went to straight to the Number One spot on the decks.de charts. Musically, the Slash Label agenda is simple but effective - quality, groove-based club music that straddles house and techno with aplomb. As you'd expect, the upcoming months hold plenty in store for Ahmet Sisman. Confirmed for a full EP release on Cocoon later in the spring, he's also planning more productions and remixes for Slash, and his other 'homelabels', Dumb-Unit, Stock5 and Lessizmore. On top of that, he's been developing his live act, which we can expect to see tearing down plenty more venues worldwide in 2010. One thing is certain: so far, we've only seen a glimpse of
Ahmet's talent, and you can be sure that there's a whole lot more to come....