Formed in 2016 by childhood friends, Istanbul Hippodrome are an unsigned duo from south of England who believe the world needs more darkness in its music. Their music is boldly cinematic and could be construed to be menacing in its nature, fused with a dark beauty that envelops its unsettling electronica and guitar based compositions.  

Epic Earworm caught up with the band for an email interview to find out where Istanbul Hippodrome began, what ‘No Way Home‘ EP is all about and where the band is headed next. 

Epic Earworm: How did Istanbul Hippodrome begin? 

Istanbul Hippodrome (IH): IH are DM (guitars/keyboards) and TE (bass/keyboards/drums). We have been making music together since we met at school. We started making guitar based songs but gradually our shared love of electronic music became a massive influence. Now we refuse to be tied down to one genre.

Epic Earworm: Tell us about making your EP ‘No Way Home’? 

IH: This is our first release so we decided to use it to showcase the range of styles we have. When it comes to creating tracks we work individually. One of us will come up with a basic structure or some interesting instrumentation or a rhymn track. We send the tracks to each other, work on it, and send it back. It’s an iterative process. Because we know and understand each other so well we are good at interpreting each other ideas and intention. We have a fairly clear shared artistic philosophy.


Epic Earworm: What have been your biggest influences and inspirations behind these tracks?

DM: The field (Swedish musician/producer), Blanck Mass, Orbital, Belbury Poly, British 90s shoegaze, The Cure.

TE: Andy Weatherall, DJ Shadow, Stockhausen, Eno/Bowie, Seamonsters era Wedding Present, Aphex Twin, Bernard Joseph Cribbins OBE.

Epic Earworm: Do you have a favourite track off the EP? 

DM: My head says Overlord as I think it’s a really challenging and interesting track. I don’t think it sounds like anyone else.  But my heart says No Way Home – the swirling guitar sound accurately reflects my state of mind at the time we made it.

TE: Serovar Vent because of the hypnotic simplicity of the structure.

Epic Earworm: What do you hope fans take away from the record and your music?

IH: We want to make darkly beautiful music. We made a conscious decision not to write “songs” because the minute you write lyrics the song becomes tethered to a specific meaning. We want to evoke emotion and feeling but in a more ambiguous way.

Epic Earworm: What’s next for Istanbul Hippodrome? 

IH: We already have lots of tracks written and ready to go. So we are planning to release a couple more EPs and an LP. We’d also like to play more live shows. Then a slow decline into alcoholism and thwarted ambition. 

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Helen Weston