Meet Esat Ekincioglu, a bassist who has what I think might be performing with the longest list of bands I’ve seen here. He’s equally versatile too. Esat is this week’s No Treble reader in the spotlight, and here’s his story.
I was born in Istanbul, Turkey in 1990 and picked up the bass guitar when I was 12-13. I didn’t play in a band for a couple of years and was just practicing my scales and time feel and playing along tunes, under the guidance of my teacher Yaşar Pınar, may he rest in peace. In high school, I was “the” bass player for the whole school, leading a couple bands. I’ve played everything from pop, to hardrock, to musical shows during this time. After high school, I started getting quiet active in the Istanbul bar scene for two years, until things fell apart – bars closing, bands disbanding and so on.
I needed a change of mind-set and took up the double-bass, prepared myself and got in to Prince Claus Conservatorium Jazz department in Groningen, Netherlands, a great school with an amazing faculty; where I graduated with high marks in June 2015. I had the chance to study with Koos Wiltenburg and Paul Berner as my main teachers and had the chance to share the stage / jam / play for /learn from masters like Adam Nussbaum, David Berkman, JD Walter, Alex Spiagin, Matt Wilson, John Clayton, Steve Altenberg and many, many more.
Now I’ll be continuing on the the Masters Program in Prince Claus Conservatorium. Although I studied jazz, I play more rock, avantgarde, improvised, ethnic or pop than straight-ahead jazz gigs. Which I really prefer :) Standards are not my thing.
So far, I’ve toured in Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands, Turkey, France and Latvia, and have performed also in Finland, Slovenia, Greece, Bulgaria, Belgium, Lithuania in a lot of venues and festivals.
I’ve never worked outside music. I’ve been gigging quiet frequently since I was 16 and my workload is increasing everyday.
Bands & Gigs:
I’m really active with multiple bands on my shoulders and my workload has been increasing since I started living and studying in Groningen. I also do a ton of sideman work around Europe, playing with choirs to big bands to rock sessions. Some of the bands I’m currently active:
- KUHN FU (My main band where I manage and play double bass, we play unique mix of rock/jazz/avantgarde; a new genre we call Psychedelic Jazz)
- AVA Trio (NL) Ethnic-jazz
- Hiske Oosterwijk (NL)
- Lennart Smidt (DE)
- Pawel Klin Quartet (PL)
- Cyril Bernhard Trio (FR)
- Efe Demiral Trio (TR)
- Ahmet Ali Arslan (TR)
I’m starting my own duo project with vocalist Renske De Boer. We will record in August and tour NL and TR through the year 2016.
- Chinese carved double bass (my go-to bass for everything and everywhere)
- Romanian hybrid double bass for rockabilly work
- Chinese plywood double bass (this one stays in Istanbul)
- Lakland JO4 (had it since 2008) tuned B-E-A-D
- Danelectro Longhorn blueburst early 90s Korean reissue
- Danelectro Longhorn blackburst fretless (Chinese reissue)
- Danelectro Longhorn copperburst (Chinese reissue)
- Markbass LM Tube 500 head
- Markbass NY210 cab
- MSPozitron Custom Pedals (fuzz, drive, reverb)
- Boss Volume Pedal
- Mooer Pedal Tuner and Power Supply
- EHX Worm
- EBS Octabass
- Pigtronix Philosophers Rock Compressor
- TC Electronic Spark mini-boost
I love the look and feel of the Dano’s, I have them all in different colors. A little, pointless collection, just for fun.
Why I play the bass:
We were little punks in the 6th grade and I had a small clique. They decided to start playing music and to make a band; I was up for it but wasn’t so eager. One claimed the guitar and the other one drums, so I was left with the bass guitar. The band never happened actually; my other friends quit right after. I just loved it and went on playing. Strange thing, that I fell in love with playing through practicing with metronome. The pleasure of playing live was a later discovery. I’ve been playing ever since.
My bass superpower/claim to fame:
I like to use the double bass out of its usual context: I play a lot of seriously LOUD and HEAVY music and use the double bass instead of bass guitar. I love bowing and use it as a way to over-drive my sound, as if I was playing electric guitar. Also, I utilize a lot of extended techniques, open tunings and percussion playing. Unlike other double-bass players, I love playing with amplifiers and am very confident about my amplified sound. I usually prefer only micing the amp.
Small settings like solo, duos or trios are my speciality.
My biggest influence is Miroslav Vitous. Also Avishai Cohen had a lot of impact in my attitude towards the instrument. On the bass guitar, my biggest heros are progressive rock players; Chris Squier, John Wetton, Ray Schulman, Greg Lake. I love the European sound and approach when it comes to bass playing.
Here are a few videos, including my graduation concert, with KUHN FU, and a crazy bow solo: