Recently, closed down theaters and cancelled festivals and shows created a pretty introverted “New Istanbul”. Despite that feeling—and in some cases, because of it—there are still many successful creatives in the city who use this “New Istanbul” as a means and space of production. We caught up with osilat0r, a duo set on creating the music of nonexistent topographies, and talked about how this unfamiliar megacity plays a role in their modes of production.











There is almost no information about you on the Internet. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

We prefer not using our first or last names, osilat0r is the name for the being that the two of us have formed and we want to maintain our presence as osilat0r. Both of us were born in 1992, one of us studied graphic design and art direction in Milan and one of us studied film in Caen but returned before finishing. We have lived together in Istanbul for nearly two years.


How did you come together and why did you choose the name osilat0r?

It was two years ago, we met through a mutual friend. The meaning of the word osilat0r is a source of energy but we chose it not because of its actual meaning but because it represents a source of ideas for us.


Was osilat0r born after you first met?

Yes, one of the reasons we wanted to meet was because we wanted to produce music together. While sitting at home and recording things and sharing them on SoundCloud, we started reaching people thanks to the support of In The Void. We are eternally grateful to Ece Özel for having us play at an Özel Zevkler event—we performed live for the first time in March at Arkaoda. As such, a kind of current was released which enabled us to reach more people.


In terms of instruments and sound, electronic music presents musicians with a wide range of possibilities. What kind of equipment do you use?

Though it is a basic setup we have a small collection that makes a sound. We have Yamaha and Casio keyboards that were produced between the ’80s and ’90s and we have a Korg Volca Keys and FM. Apart from those, we use digital tools like Operator and Wavetable in Ableton frequently. Our favorite toy is a stereo sound recording device. Sometimes we dream of owning much better equipment but if we didn’t have any of them we would still definitely have tried to make sounds.


There has been an increasing amount of pressure upon Istanbul over the past several years. This has affected the production of a number of artists. What kind of effect has this had on you?

It affects us quite a bit. In both physical and mental terms, we are under the effect of the absurd tragedies that continually play out in this country. Sometimes we remain under the effect of something for days and are unable to produce anything, sometimes when our patience runs out we continue producing and try to continue to live our lives. Mankind has turned the planet we live in into a garbage heap but we also think that this earth can be a playing field. This gives us strength.


In spite of this pressure, the Istanbul electronic music scene is developing day by day. What do you think about this?

The current state of things makes us happy. What Istanbul needs is more venues. This would increase everyone’s appetite to produce and would increase variety.


Didn’t you also have an embroidery project where you produced sweatshirts? How did this project begin?

The sweatshirt project began around the same time we started to produce music. Our purpose was to create a mold that we loved to wear and in which we felt comfortable. We wanted to bring out the ideas in our hands with embroidery. On one hand, this provided the financial support to sustain osilat0r. In terms of production there are new ideas in our heads however it appears that they will remain in the design stage for awhile.


What are you listening to these days?

For nearly a year we’ve been crazy about Jon Hassell. A few days ago we came across Anadol’s Uzun Havalar album and really loved it. We eagerly follow Korhan Erel. Since last week we are frequently listening to the set that Konsistent did for AUFSCHNITT. Generally we come across mostly independent musicians from around the world on Sound Cloud and Bandcamp, they are varied and too many to count.


What are your upcoming plans?

We want to produce an album with which we are happy using a clear understanding spread over time. By doing this we want to conceptually unite a variety of ideas that are in our hands. We think about conjuring up sounds that have not yet been created—but could have been—in worlds that don’t exist. We are trying to capture textures that are both primitive and futuristic. In our minds we have a sound installation that evokes a ritual ceremony by embracing the deep listening practice and sonic awareness theories of Pauline Oliveros.