Crowned the Queen of Berlin's queer scene, the Turkish Berliner, invited by the Goethe Institute, is landing in Cairo for a mini tour of some of the city's favourite establishments. We catch up with Ipek ahead of her gig at Cafe D'Nile this coming Friday to find out what she has in store for us.
"When Ipek plays people listen, they dance, they scream, they want more. That goes for Berlin, that goes for Stockholm, and that goes for New York." So reads the first line in Ipek's press kit. The Turkish Berliner is out to dominate the world's best dancefloors, with Hong Kong and Tokyo as her final frontiers. As soon as she claims them she will have played every major city in the world. Then who decides which city's are the world's best clubbing destinations? That is up to Ipek.
Ipek Ipekcioglu born in Munich, the Berlin raised, 2nd generation Turkish immigrant started DJing over 22 years ago. A student at the time, while standing in a club in Berlin, she was approached by the promoter, who asked her if she was Turkish, if she was gay, and if she would like to play the clubs first oriental night. She answered yes to all the above. She told us - over a Skype call - that the promoter didn't have anyone to play, and there were only three day's left before the show. The promoter somehow must have known about her extensive oriental club music collection, she told us "At the time we had only CD's and tapes, I told the promoter I'd never done this," she continues, "I told him I don't even have any CD's, and he said grab your tape's and come."
She went, and brought her tapes with her, resulting in a very special night, at a real techno club she was able to play Middle Eastern music off a tape, something she's very proud of. Ever since then Ipek has been mastering that fusion, mixing techno and house music with queer classics and Middle Eastern/Mesopotamian music. Ipek says, "When I first started I was borrowing music from everyone, even my mother. I would play Madonna, Sidi Mansour, just mixing up everything. Making people come closer to music from the Middle East." This is Ipek's forte, and it's with this whole dynamic that she was able to defy the norm and come up with a new equation that works. It doesn't lack any of the points a seasoned underground clubber would be looking for in a DJ set, she just has her own twist.Today, Ipek's music is edgy, it's house, it's techno, it's Berlin-style electro minimal mixed with an eclectic, Middle Eastern sound that adds a distinctly sensual vibe - the twist. It's with that sound that Ipek was able to infiltrate dance floors around the world. DJ, producer, and curator, she knows how to create the right mood, every set is a journey, every track has a message. One thing is for sure, though, it's distinctively underground. As music director of CrossKultur-Festival, Ipek doesn't forfeit on the integrity of her records. Highly acclaimed, Ipek has received a number of awards from some of the world's biggest competitions and organisations, like for example the World Beat DJ Competition in London and the German Record Critics Award. Rolling Stone Magazine cited her as a representative for "Ideology blinker-free living". Daniel Bax, music critic for the German publication TAZ said this about her "Ipek is an MC for transcultural understanding." As alongside all of her endeavours in music, the artist regularly shares her knowledge in workshops and lectures about gay identities transcultural clubbing.
Set to play several gigs in Cairo this month, you can catch Ipek at CJC this coming Wednesday the 12th alongside RamyDJunkie, on the 13th at the Goethe Institute, and in collaboration with the Goethe Institute on the 14th, Cafe D'Nile hosts our famed guest. A surprise special appearance by someone that we are not allowed to reveal to you guys just yet, but let's just say her sound fits perfectly with Ipek's Mesopotamian vibes. Ipek is set to play a deep house set spiced up with her signature Middle Eastern sound. Cafe D'Nile is limiting attendance to this event to 250 guests to ensure a cosy night, as they understand that Ipek's music goes down best in an intimate club setting. We feel in safe hands with the guys over at M/S Hapi 2 AKA, Cafe D'Nile. With their regular contributions to the scene, and their meticulous attention to detail, we are sure this will be a top-notch event, one for the books even. Unfortunately, this is a very private shindig so you will have to know someone that knows someone, in other words, start making calls now.