Ali is the Co-Founder and A&R at Sublimeporte, a local indie label in Istanbul. He is a long-time promoter, and someone who has been digging the international & local music scene since the 90's.
Recently, we had a long walk to his favorite record shops in Beyoglu. Then, we went to his favorite coffee & deli shop.
Here is a short itinerary for you music lovers.
While a lot of record shops have been priced out of the area, Lale has held strong for the last 60 years. It is located among many other music and instrument shops near the Tunel. Their records are all new, not second hand and are a mixture of classical and jazz. You can also find traditional Turkish Music, folk, and conservative Turkish tunes in the store. If you are unsure of what you are looking for, ask the knowledgable owner for suggestions or direction when it comes to choosing a new album.
This shop is also a bit of a hang out for local artist, you might come across one!
Modern, experimental, and new records can be found at Kontra Plak. You might be able to catch one of the monthly record listening events, Dinleme Odasi. Check the calendar: http://dinlemeodasi.tumblr.com/. Local and international artists have signing days at the record shop, or they randomly show up and sign their records here. Be aware! This is also the place for like new condition, second hand vinyl. The owner will happily let you listen to a potential purchase on the record player set up just for that purpose.
Live performances often take place at Deform time to time. You can find all sorts of second hand records for your collections here. Deform has been working hard to become a local label feat. Istanbulian artist. When we were visiting, I was lucky to purchase a record from their label named "An introduction to the sounds of Istanbul". You can listen to the Promo Mix below. It is also worth noting it is owned by the dj duo of the same name Deform-E.
Manuel Deli & Coffee
Of course after all that walking a record browsing, we got hungry!
Ali took me to his friends' new spot serving awesome pan pizza and amazing coffee. Definitely check this place out, if you are around Cihangir. Friendly peeps, and great food. You can talk to these people about coffee and brewing techniques for hours. Istanbul has been a little weak on the coffee scene but luckily these guys have come along to pick up some slack. Different roasts come often in the mail such as Intellegentsia, Blue Bottle and Stumptown roasters. You never know what you'll find there.