The Dip Sahaf - the deep experience
Updated: May 24
One of those fascinating things about Turkish people is how they live with traditional and old music daily. Every Turkish person knows the lyrics of all the songs that were sung 50 years ago by their parents and grandparents. The soundscape of Turkey is thick and dense. People are triggered to sing and enjoy music by a sound coming from a car passing by, a tune played on the radio, a musician playing on the street. Record shops have a vast selection of albums and singles of old Turkish artists. It is worth to mention that their customers are Turkish people, collectors, and amateurs of their local music.
Dip Sahaf, owned by Volkan Özboz, is one of those record stores that fulfill the dream of record digging. It is hidden in one of the passages in Moda (Kadıköy). You can’t find it quickly because no sign and no information is guiding you to the shop. When I first visited the shop in 2015, I spent several hours digging without a single break. Volkan kindly offered one tea after another, knowing that all I needed was going through all the 45s he had in the shop.
Dip Sahaf is a magical place – extended shelves behind Volkan are packed with 45s of Turkish music only. I learned about various styles and genres in Turkish music from psychedelic Anatolian bangers to arabesque, türkü, chanson, halk (folk), and Kanto, euro-pop.
Spending so many hours in a shop creates some bond between a seller and a buyer. Even if you don’t speak a common language, there is a connection established through records you choose to listen to and suggestions you receive from an owner.
In Dipsahaf, I explored many records that are out of the radar of the people who follow the most appreciated music genres from Turkey. I found many of those records that have the rough and dark sound of arabesque like Bedia Atatürk or Zehra Sabah. Many times Volkan was surprised that a foreigner looked for singles as such. After hearing a few notes of the bağlama or zurna intro, Volkan started to sing along with the singer, shaking his head with a sigh of admiration. After a listening session, I asked how much is this 7 inch. “Before we listened to it or after?” asked Volkan, answering with a cheeky smile on his face.
I have been returning to Volkan for 4 years, and there has always been music to discover.