Jeff Özdemir… and Friends

February 6, 2018
Adem sitz vor dem 33rpmStore, damals noch in Bremerhaven.

// A small update on the 3rd release of the series, which is continuing to be available at Karaoke Kalk and for which the taz once again dealt with him (German article). – Jeff Özdemir & Friends will be released on 18.06.2021 //

Jeff Özdemir’s real name is Adem Mahmutoglu and, like so many others, he is a Berliner by choice. His life is mainly shaped by music and for at least one of his music projects he sometimes uses the name Jeff Özdemir. Before moving to Berlin, he lived for a long time in Bremerhaven and, to a certain extent, in his former record shop, the 33 rpm shop. I bought my first records there 22 years ago, records that weren’t just for playing at home. But at the time when I was trying my hand at DJing, they were mainly used for parties.

I realise now that Adem’s pre-selection helped shape my musical tastes. At the time, I was certainly convinced that it was just my brilliant understanding of music that kept the record box so well sorted. Of course, the work of selecting records was very different back then and I was dependent on the record shop. There was no Beatport, no Shazam. A lot of time might pass before I knew the name of a record I had heard somewhere, and then getting it was the real issue. In the days of dubplates and white labels, it took forever for one of these records to come out, if it came out at all.

In the later transition period from vinyl to digital, I had some heated discussions with Adem about how good the internet was going to be for musicians (my opinion) and the dangers of the internet through illegal downloads (his opinion). This often happened over a cup of tea, so that a visit to his shop was not only an invitation to look for records, but also often used for extensive conversations. I miss this environment that his record shop gave me back then. But every now and then I visit Adem in Berlin and reminisce for a while.

Adem was one of the last people to leave Bremerhaven. But he was also one of those who always wanted more than the city could give. Many creative people left early, looking for what was missing. Adem seems to have found it in Berlin. He runs his record shop there in much the same way as he did in Bremerhaven. However, the events and releases he organises are now more frequent and extensive. One of these releases is Jeff Özdemir and Friends, which, with its first edition, is also a recapitulation of times past. Tracks like Der Typ ist Fett dabei by Edwyn Tokyo were re-released on the compilation in 2015. But I still remember Adem and Frank playing it for me in the shop.

In the almost 30 years that Adem has been active, he has built up a network from which the compilations now benefit. Some of the bands on the first edition are from his time in Bremerhaven. Other tracks show how Adem has developed in the meantime. This is what Allein mit dem Dualismus stands for in my opinion.

The second edition, published in 2017, follows the same path, but is also much fresher, with new collaborations. Adem was unnecessarily modest and wished me a lot of fun with the bad investment, even questioning the third edition. But I think that the self-proclaimed Bill Gates of the Bontempi organ continues to offer an interesting spectrum that is not confined to a single genre, and the supposed focus on him as Jeff Özdemir does no harm either. On the contrary, it is through him that interesting musicians and music that I am not always familiar with come within my reach.

Jeff Özdemir and Friends Vol. 1 (2015) and Vol. 2 (2017) are available for preview and purchase in various versions here:


Of course, I also recommend a visit to his 33 rpm store at Wrangelstraße 95 in Berlin, where you can also buy them. You can also buy them directly from the Karaoke Kalk label.

Die beiden ersten Ausgaben von Jeff Özdemir & Friends liegen als Vinyl auf einem Tisch.

Also interesting (all in German):
Jeff Özdemir & Friends at Phonanza FM
Full on the start, the man at!5430793/
Beyond the edge of the panel at
Are there any sounds? at (free of charge, but unfortunately requires login)

And an interview I did with Adem in 2008 for the short-lived magazine bookup:

Auszug des Interviews, welches ich für das bookup Magazin mit Adem geführt habe.
Written By

Hi, I'm Olli, I moved to Hamburg in 2008 and have been working in the media industry there ever since. Before that, I spent many years spinning records in the Northern German club scene and writing for a few, often music-related, magazines. Now, after a break of several years, I'm blogging again and writing from the heart, which I think is a bit awesome.

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