Istanbul is Turkey’s largest city and - as home to over 14 million people - it is among the world’s most populous urban areas. It sits between two continents (Asia and Europe), giving the city a unique diversity.
Although Istanbul is not known as being a hub for electronic music, there is a thriving scene, which is growing rapidly in line with the global popularity of the sound.
The city’s most famous club is one of its oldest. Indigo is the spiritual home of Istanbul’s dance music scene. Over the years the Galatasaray based venue has hosted techno royalty including Richie Hawtin and Stacey Pullen. However, you will need to plan your visits according to the season. Like many of the city’s clubs, Indigo closes during the summer months, as they decamp to the beach to promote large-scale outdoor events at Propaganda Beach Club - a large venue on the Aegean coast. They have Diynamic boss Solomun lined up here at the end of the month.
Over the last few years the Istanbul has become an exciting place for large outdoor events and dance music festivals. This weekend, for instance, Isle of Dreams takes place in Istanbul’s Life Park. The event features underground house dons Jamie Jones and The Martinez Brothers alongside EDM heavyweights Sebastian Ingrosso, Afrojack, Avicii, Axwell and Steve Aoki.
If the larger clubs and festivals are not your bag, then be sure to check out some of the more alternative venues in the city. One of the Istanbul’s most interesting music venues is The Hall. Set in a former church, this underground, industrially designed music venue and art space has hosted legendary house and techno artists including François K, Todd Terry and Moodyman in recent years.
But for the super-underground heads, Machine is the nocturnal destination of choice. The dark and grungy venue specialises in techno, where international guest DJs ply their trade from within a cage - where the clubs famous DJ booth is positioned.
Although Istanbul’s hottest tickets tend to rely on imported international DJ talent, the city is increasingly developing talent from within. Techno stalwart Onur Özer, who lives in Istanbul, and is involved in Sven Vath’s Cocoon family of artists and Porcheto’s live nu-disco sound has taken them across the globe.
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