We caught up with Doruk Guralp recently ahead of his debut release, the ‘Caspian’ EP. A self-described ‘wedding DJ & bedroom producer from Istanbul’, Doruk Guralp is one of the leading DJ’s in the Turkish scene. This release comes on one of Turkey’s most respected labels, the Petra Digital imprint. Featuring two tracks, Guralp’s ‘Caspian’ and a remix by renowned Los Angeles producer Saands, be sure to check it out when it gets its release on 8 March on Beatport.
Joseph Barnes: Hi Doruk. Thanks for taking the time to chat to us today. Your Soundcloud bio says you’re a ‘wedding DJ & bedroom producer from Istanbul’. Are you still doing weddings and if so, what are your favourite wedding jams?
Doruk Guralp: Haha nice one. To be honest, it was just a quote that I came to mind when nearly every social platform asked for a “bio”. I really didn’t want to go with “it was the time that I mess around with my dad’s vinyl collection then discovered Daft Punk and bla bla,” but if i do the wedding thing, I will definetly play Rasputin by Boney M.
J: And when did you get to a stage where you considered yourself to be a producer as opposed to a ‘bedroom producer’. Do you still make all your music on laptops and if so, do you think it makes a difference how music is made these days?
Doruk Guralp: Yep, I’m still doing my tracks on my laptop among with some analogue gear. In my opinion, the best inspiration comes in the most comfortable place of your own.
J: Lets chat a bit about your release on Petra Digital. How did it come about? What’s your association with the label?
Doruk Guralp: I know Eren for a long time and i really admire what he is doing with Petra Digital. We were constantly talking about a release from me on Petra and this happened.
J: I gather the release is a pretty big one for you. Where does it stand in your accomplishments as a producer to date?
Doruk Guralp: Finally a track of my own that I can play in my sets.
J: Was their one particular sound or vibe you were going for with it? Or was it more a case of going with the flow and seeing where the music took you?
Doruk Guralp: I’m more of a “go with flow” guy. I usually start with a bass/perc/melody loop and start building on it.
J: So did it take you long to produce? Are you a producer who knows when a track is finished or did you make a lot of changes to it as you went?
Doruk Guralp: No it didn’t.
I learned when to stop because, as with all the opportunities, you can get lost easily and lose your focus.
J: You’re from Istanbul, Turkey. What’s the scene like there right now and how involved are you in it all?
Doruk Guralp: I’m from Izmir actually, I moved to Istanbul 8 years ago. The scene was great, then it got ok but right now it’s getting better again. I’m also working at the event section of Electronica Festival Istanbul, which will turn 15 this year.
J: In terms of your work as a DJ, do you get to play at home much? What’s been your most memorable gig over the years?
Doruk Guralp: I still continue my residencies at Klein, Peyote, Hypnos in Istanbul and 1888 in Izmir. They are all going very well. My most memorable gig was playing at Carl Cox’s Music Is Revolution Party at Space Ibiza in 2015.
J: Do you have a preference in terms of producing or DJing?
Doruk Guralp: Don’t forget to go home.
J: What was your first experience of electronic music? And when was it that you decided it was something you wanted to become active in yourself?
Doruk Guralp: I think it was around 2006, I was mostly listening to indie rock then I came across some Erol Alkan remixes and I was like yeah that’s nice.
J: In terms of Istanbul DJs and producers, what ones should we be looking out for?
Doruk Guralp: Havantepe, Ugur Project, Headwaters.
J: And on a global level, what DJs and producers are really impressing you recently?
Doruk Guralp: I’ll go with the labels on this question: Sushitech, Fuse London, Infuse, Moi, Pressure Traxx, Perlon, Visionquest, Crosstown Rebels.
J: And inspiration-wise, what artists continue to inspire you?
Doruk Guralp: Villalobos.
J: Apart from this release, what else have you got coming up that we can look forward to in 2018?
Doruk Guralp: More tracks.
Interview by Joseph Barnes