Insanlar (literally Humankind in Turkish, but with a deeper and esoteric meaning behind) got together first in the last months of 2010 – with the famed Istanbul DJ Baris K. and instrumentalist Cem Yıldız of Orient Expressions fame in the helm – as an inhouse jam band for the Anatolian pop/rock revival series, Minipop, which was then starting to take place in Istanbul’s Minimüzikhol, the network’s home club.
From this organic friends network, which included many names like Turkish hip-hop superstar Kabus Kerim to dancer Bahar from Baba Zula and percussionist Sinan Tansal from iconic rock bands Karapaks and Mavi Sakal; Insanlar evolved into a more stable core band with Istanbul’s superstar drummer Alican Tezer (Ayyuka, Büyük Ev Ablukada, ex-Athena) being the third permanent member in the band.
Their shamanistic techno folk hybrid, rooted firmly in AnatolianAlewi religious poetry, and their energetic, almost punkish attitude created a mystic following around the bands improvised early shows.
The release of the hypnotic stomper “Kime Ne” on UK’s Honest Jon’s label in 2015, catapulted the band on to the international stage, where their idiosyncratic mixture of traditional Anatolian/Mesopotamian instrumentation, electronic music and spiritual/philosophical lyrics continue to captivate festival audiences.
2019 will see Insanlar releasing a new LP on NL’s Rush Hour.