Turkish producer Jtamul released Lubuni at the end of May this year, with the aim of portraying the “solitudes of being in natural surroundings and of going against societal norms”. The 21 year old, who’s also studying linguistics, grew up in the woodlands of North-East Turkey, and it’s clear to see this contextualised and conveyed through this unique body of work. Lubuni was released via Objects Limited, an off-shoot of Planet Mu, run by Lara Rix-Martin with the main objective being simple; giving female-identifying and non-binary artists an outlet to express themselves.
Coming from the Turkish secret slang ‘Lubun’ which means ‘queer person’, Lubuni portrays a “solarpunk fairy princette’ exploring a vulnerable and tender facet to escape the strict norms of the society that Jtamul lives in. It’s with this in mind that Jtamul flourishes with a dreamscape of “ocean tongues” and “incidental human noises”, producing what could be described as the sound of the future.
With such a rich meaning behind Lubuni, we looked to Jtamul to pick out the EP’s key influences, as well as some of the artists shaping Turkey’s underground LGBTQ+ community.
1. Sick – Wench
Wench is a collaborative project of Arca and Shayne Oliver and this song like my anti-antidepressant. I listen to it when I feel sad to make me feel even more dramatic. I love how this club ballad creates contrast between sad pads and assertive vocals and turn them into a heterogenic mix like water and oil.
2. Final Fantasy Boss Fight Scenes
I always get inspired from video game soundtracks especially role playing game sound effects. While I was trying to imagine a soundscape of a virtual space for Lubuni in my mind I got into these Final Fantasy Boss Fight scenes. They were visually and aurally pleasing. The sounds you hear are reactionary when you make combo or got hit by a power attack. They come alive because of your actions. So I decided to create and design my own sound effects using recordings of my vocals and objects I found at home. I wanted to make these sounds feel lively and not in control of me. I react to them and they react to me
3. Aphrodite’s Child – Infinity
I found out this track when I was in high school and I was blown away. It’s pure madness and also a relieving experience. You can’t tell exactly what’s going on but it’s certain that it’s a piece of a absolute expression.
4. The Knife – Still Light
This track also witnessed many of my down moments. I love how Karin gives a poetic narrative of such a tragic moment.
5. David Moss – More Voices in Venice
David Moss’s works have shaped how I view vocalisation. I discovered his works recently and i realised that there are lots of layers that we don’t notice very often in the human verbal expressions. When i record vocals i tend to exaggerate the little features produced accidentally or too shallow to hear. I love experimenting with my vocals.
6. Holly Herndon – Breathe
This piece is one of my favourite Holly Herndon tracks. Her approach to processing the human voice and computer music shaped my music a lot. I also use only my laptop while producing and performing. Lately I try to make real time manipulations of sounds when I perform.
7. Björk – Utopia
The intentional other worldliness of Utopia is very much similar to what I am trying to achieve while I produce the sounds of virtual landscapes. I love hearing bird-like creatures’ chirping freely through out the tracks.
8. Sailor Moon
Sailor Moon was my favourite anime when I was growing up. The idea of transforming into an another, more femme being made me feel free about my gender when I was a kid. I was imagining myself transforming like the Sailor Moon characters and mimicking the sounds that comes out during the process. Like sounds of shiny wings and sound effects of falling white feathers.
9. Rustavi Choir – Shen Khar Venakhi
My parents both have Georgian origin so I grew up in a mix environment of Georgian and Turkish culture. I didn’t like the folk music in general when I was a kid but lately I discovered some mesmerising choral singing examples from Caucasia. Polyphonic Georgian music inspired me a lot.
10. Osilator – A Part of Carlo’s Unphysical Town
Osilator is a duo project based in Istanbul. Their music and themselves are unique creatures. Turkish underground electronic music scene is cishet dominated area and Osilator became sparkling light for me. I became more open about my expression of music after I met them and I felt a unity in a lot of ways. This is one of their older works and one of my all time favourites.
11. Ceytengri – Buz Gibiyim
Queer underground music or queer music in general have been had to emerge out recently because of political reasons. But being a part of this movement makes feel so proud. ‘Dudakların Cengi’ ,a lip-sync drag show became the centre of this movement. People had a chance to express themselves freely in the middle of this depressing climate. Ceytengri is one of the prominent drag queens perform at Dudakların Cengi. We made a track together called ‘Buz Gibiyim’ and it became a queer club anthem. They asked me to produce the song and after that moment I got into the newly emerged queer club scene. We also organise a party series called Çığlık Çığlığa,meaning ’scream out loud’ in Turkish, with my friend Çiçek Çocuk and we only work with queer DJs and producers. We have to extend the spaces or create a space from the ground up to express ourselves.
Lubuni is out now via Objects Limited here