If you ask Ilhan Ersahin about the magic happening at 62 Avenue C, he'll give you an enigmatic answer: "We're just playing music."
The truth is, from the inside out, it's just about as simple as that. Nublu, the East Village outpost that Ilhan started in 2002, is like a little clubhouse where friends get together and just play music with each other.
But, as is often the case, what seems most simple is most special. The magic under the little blue light that marks the entrance to the club emanates from a group of players from all over the world with regulars hailing from Brazil, Eastern Europe, the UK, the US and everywhere between. What's more, they happen to be among the most sought after musicians around. They've regularly shared stages and made recordings with Herbie Hancock, David Byrne, Sun Ra, Beck, and John Zorn to rattle off a few. Nightly these players come together at Nublu to share their ideas and create music together. Their improvisations reflect all their influences, shared and individual. There's no telling what combination will rise to the top on a given night. About the only certainty is that it will sound both fresh and familiar.
Quite often, the improvisations of these musicians give rise to songs, and those momentary communions of musicians become bands - bands like Kudu, Brazilian Girls, Wax Poetic, Forro in the Dark, Love Trio, and the Nublu Orchestra conducted by Butch Morris - all representing different moments in time and different sounds, but a similar ideal. That ideal - the indefinable sound that stretches across the creation of every band and DJ within the club's walls - is known around the house as the Nublu Sound.
The Nublu Sound is what made the necessity for Nublu Records clear. Whereas many labels that come about develop out of a few people's desire to go out and search for music, Nublu