Having been involved in preparing the soundtrack for Fatih Akin's film "Head-On" (which I highly recommend, though if you're reading this review, you probably already know it), the bass player for the legendary German rock band Einstürzende Neubauten came back to Istanbul to further explore contemporary Turkish music, which he'd gotten a taste of and liked. The result is a fascinating musical portrait of Istanbul, including gypsy music, rap (I'm no expert, but Ceza may be doing the most interesting hip-hop ever recorded outside the US), a Canadian woman (Brenna MacGrimmon) who had fallen in love with old Istanbul whorehouse ballads and learned to sing them in flawless Turkish, Turkey's superstar Sezen Aksu, the "godfather" of "Arabesque" Orhan Gencebay, as well as Kurdish, Sufi, and street musicians. For my money, this is at least as good as "The Buena Vista Social Club" and has the potential to do for Turkish music what that film did for Cuban music, given the right marketing. And by the way, the soundtrack is also available on CD.
I'd like to take the opportunity to plug some other Turkish work that I think would be interesting for fans of "Crossing the Bridge". I am very glad to see that two films ("Vizontele"Vizontele [ NON-USA FORMAT, PAL, Reg.0 Import - Germany ] and its sequel "Vizontele Tuuba"Vizontele Tuuba [ NON-USA FORMAT, PAL, Reg.0 Import - Germany ]) by one of Turkey's leading directors and comic actors, Yilmaz Erdogan, are now available on Amazon (albeit only as imports from Germany which don't play on standard US DVD players), as well as the marvelous soundtracks to those films and other CDsBogaziçi Gösteri Sanatlari Toplulugu Vizontele Tuuba by the group Kardes Türküler, one of the best groups performing music based on the folk traditions of various Anatolian peoples (including Turks, Kurds, Armenians, Georgians, and others). This is wonderful stuff that certainly deserves a wide audience outside Turkey.