Today Güner Künier’s new record Aşk is out via Mommys Mistake. We got her to talk a bit about the tape its creation – ahead of the launch party tonight in Berlin.
Been listening to your first album Aşk a lot and it’s great – how long have you been working on this project and who was involved in making it?
I started the songwriting process at the beginning of August and finished it at the end of August 2022. I took the demos to the studio of my friend Sid Vision in September 2022 and we recorded all the songs in five days. After this process, Sid added some instruments and worked on the sound, mixing and mastering, all in exchange with me. Mid-October 2022, I had the final tracks. As you see, all happened this year within a quite short amount of time but I’ve never worked differently so far within the process of creating and recording music.
Your first EP pretty much stayed within a fixed formula or sound, but this album is quite diverse. Is that something you intentionally strived for? Did you have a plan when you started writing for it?
I never have a plan or intentionally strive when I do music. It’s more a fusion of what I was listening to the last two years, a lot of krautrock bands like Neu!, post-punk-wave stuff and I’m interested in anadolu-rock of the 60s and 70s like the beginnings of Barış Manço or Cem Karaca, too. When I produce new music it just breaks out of me. There was something different this time though, I have been writing more personal and autobiographical and I guess that’s the effect of why more diversity came out.
The album is called ’love’ in Turkish, but these don’t sound like love songs. Is there a theme behind the songs, or how should we interpret the title of the tape?
First of all, love doesn’t always mean happiness. For me love is also a very dark topic which comes along with hurt feelings, trauma or trust issues. And I am not just talking about romantic relationships but also love between friends and family. A lot of trust issues I have in every kind of relationship goes back to some lack of love in family affairs.
That’s a way to interpret the title. Also I was writing the first Turkish songs ever and that meant a lot to me. I didn’t plan it, it just happened and felt very natural. A lot of Turkish songs are about love, but heartbroken love, the pain and the suffering, I love them. That’s how it also comes to the title.
I think the album has a strong cinematic feeling to it – starting with an intro and ending with an outro – how important is mood for you when you make music?
I work mostly with strong emotions and try to transfer them into music. I have never thought about creating a mood but that’s what happens automatically, I guess. I like to make it feel like a little trip, that’s why I used an intro and outro. I also love listening to albums with an intro and outro; it’s like “hello” and “goodbye”.
Sadly, I haven’t had the chance to see you perform live. How do you recreate the songs in that setting? Do you work with other musicians or do you use a backtrack?
No worries, I will be playing many live shows again next year. My friend Sid Vision who produced the album, also produced some backing tracks for me. When I perform the songs I always sing the vocals, play the guitar and the synth live to the backing tracks.
A lot of music coming out of Berlin… well you can kind of hear it was made in that city, but not so much with your music. Do you identify with the underground music community in Berlin or do you feel like an outsider?
I don’t think there is one underground music community or one sound that comes out of Berlin. For me it feels more like there are different underground scenes and some of them I do feel connected too. But it’s also true, my music is very diverse and doesn’t seem to fit in, even in the underground. I still feel very supported.