mor ve ötesi :

HARUN TEKIN (vocals / guitar) //
KEREM OZYEGEN (guitar) //

mor ve ötesi was established
in 1995 by four close high school friends in Istanbul, Turkey. The first album Sehir was released in June 1996 by Ada Müzik, a record label known for hosting and championing local talent with an edge and originality who would venture into unchartered musical and lyrical territories. Off the album, the first single “Yalniz Sarki” and its corresponding video garnered some popular interest and the album received critical acclaim.

1997 saw the band’s first show outside its hometown at ODTÜ (Middle East Technical University) in the capital Ankara – the educational institution typically known as a political hotbed. It was also the year the first line-up change took place with Burak Güven replacing Alper Tekin on bass. In 1998, the band began working on its next album while keeping a residency at the influential local rock venue Captain Hook. The album Birak Zaman Aksin was recorded by long-time school mate and sound-engineer Volkan Gürkan. Derin Esmer left the band after the recording, and was replaced by Kerem Özyegen on guitar. The band had found its current line-up and the album was released on March 1999, once again, by Ada.

In early 2000, mor ve ötesi took part in nationwide anti-nuclear campaigns, and supported the cause with various concerts and appearances. In July, the band recorded a song, “Sen Varsin”, to be included on a tribute album for renowned protest singer Bülent Ortaçgil. They closed the year with its most important gig to date, opening for Placebo on its first appearance in Istanbul.

The third album Gül Kendine, the band’s most proficiently crafted work to date, was once again recorded and produced by Volkan Gürkan, and released in December 2001. The promo tour for the album was also the band’s first proper nationwide tour, and the closing concert in Istanbul drew upwards of 5000 people. Receiving wide critical acclaim, the show was regarded by the media as a ‘musical treasure’ and an ‘audio-visual extravaganza’. It was clear that the band was now in a new league, in both an artistic and popular sense.

In 2003, mor ve ötesi ******ed in for various activities against the war in Iraq and composed the anthemic “Savasa Hiç Gerek Yok”. The song was performed in Ankara on March 1, along with fellow musicians in front of a rabid crowd of 100.000 people. Having played its part in worldwide anti-war efforts, the band was once again in the forefront of the national rock scene.

In May of the same year, mor ve ötesi released an EP c******d Yaz. Its opener, a rock style cover of the popular 1990 classic “Yaz Yaz Yaz” became the country’s summer anthem. The band followed this single’s success with another nationwide tour which saw some unprecedented attendance numbers. In Autumn, the band started writing its next album while working on the soundtrack for a film c******d Mustafa Hakkinda Hersey. A song from this soundtrack, “Bir Derdim Var”, was also to be the third single from the forthcoming album Dünya Yalan Söylüyor, and brought the band the prestigious Altin Portakal (Golden Orange) Award at the International Antalya Film Festival for Best Song for a Motion Picture. A new producer, the renowned bass player Tarkan Gözübüyük, was chosen for the album, and work began in January 2004.

Following the most crafty production in the band's history, the album hit stores on May 1, 2004 and attained incredible early sales figures. Supported by the first single “Cambaz”, the album took off and got on track to become a twice gold-selling rock album, and the song received huge airplay from both TV and Radio stations. The second single, a cover of the idiosyncratic singer Fikret Kizilok's “Sevda Çiçegi”, further expanded the album’s popularity, and the third single, the aforementioned “Bir Derdim Var”, was not only arguably the most popular rock song to date in Turkey, but was also championed as Song of the Year by musical authorities and fans alike. The commercial success of the album – 250.000 units in sales – was complemented by a very busy and expansive touring schedule, as well as a fourth video single for “Ask Içinde”. By then the band had played about 150 shows since the release of the album, presenting its music to large audiences nationwide, and the experience enabled the band to become a rock-solid live performance act. The fifth and final video from Dünya Yalan Söylüyor was made for the closing song “Uyan” and it ranked at 3 on MTV’s World Chart Express. The video was a re-edit from an animation created by Andrei Khrjanovsky in 1968 which was shelved by Soviet censors when it came out.

Mid-2006 saw the release of the band’s fifth album Büyük Düsler to huge critical acclaim. The downfall of its record label Pasaj resulted in the transfers of both the band and the album to its own label Rakun. The band’s promo tour of the album in May 2006 took them in front of roughly 250.000 people in 11 cities. The first single off the album was “Sirket”, followed by the ballad “Küçük Sevgilim” which featured Turkey’s prominent female singer Sebnem Ferah on guest vocals. Meanwhile the album was named ‘Best Album of the Year’ by Rolling Stone and ‘Best Rock Album of the Year’ by Blue Jean magazine. The closing single and video of the album was “Ayip Olmaz Mi?”, and the year’s final recording was a cover version of “1945”, a popular song by Turkey’s well-known composer, the late Onno Tunç, which was released amid big popular praise on a tribute album to the man.

Next year, mor ve ötesi opened the international Radarlive 2007 festival which was host to twenty-nine foreign acts and headlined by Marilyn Manson, James and Groove Armada. The band also did a special acoustic performance for MTV Turkey at the niche Istanbul club Ghetto which was aired as a special broadcast by the network. Four songs from this concert were later released alongside other Rakun recording artists on a special label promo CD which was included in the February 2008 issue of Rolling Stone magazine.

In the international arena, the band had by then played fifteen sold-out shows in Germany between 2004 and 2007 in cities like Berlin, Bochum, Köln, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, and one in the Netherlands (Amsterdam, Paradiso). The band closed 2007 with the ‘Best Band of the Year’ award by Powerturk – the country’s foremost music television network – and the nomination as Turkey’s participant for the Eurovision Song Contest that took place in Belgrade, Serbia in May 2008, finishing at 7th position. The appearance popularized the band in Europe, especially in the Baltic and Balkan nations remarkably. The energy-laden Eurovision song “Deli” will be issued on the band’s next release c******d Basibozuk, an album consisting of three studio and four live tracks, as well as some remixes of older numbers. mor ve ötesi is planning a European tour in early 2009 and sees it as a year of action and opportunities to take its already-brilliant career further to reach new territories and wider audiences internationally.