Hoodna Orchestra: Israeli Afrobeat
Afrobeat from Tel Aviv? When it sounds this good, yes.
Hoodna Orchestra is a 14-piece group that plays all types of Afrobeat styles, and they play them all well. According to their bio, the group’s mission is to study and investigate the African origins of western popular music.
ALEM (world in Amharic) is the 2nd release in a series of collaborations between The Hoodna Orchestra and artist and performers from Ethiopia. The song was written and sung by The singer and poet DEMISU BELETE to a tune by Ilan Smilan. It is an intense love song describing one’s love as a cure to all pains and woes. BELETE’s singing style is heavily influenced by the great singers from the golden age of ethiopian music, especially Mahmoud Ahmed and Tilahun Gesesse. BELETE’s deep voice, alongside the dynamic and groovy performance by the Hoodna orchestra, creates a powerfull composition that sweeps the listeners away to a different time and place.
The Bside is an Ethio-dub version of the song, that features members of ADYABO Ensemble, a group that specializes in traditional Ehiopian music and Folklore. The song titled ALEM-DUB is an attempt at fusing old and new, tradition and Modernity. The result is a hypnotically groovy track, heavily painted in Bright psychedelic colours. The single will be released in a 7″ vinyl format.
Sabir: Performers of MDM – Middle Eastern Dance Music
Sabir plays sleek, Mediterranean dance-influenced My Morning Jacket, stripped-down, dance beat-heavy Tame Impala, or lively Israeli wedding music. Or all three. Or more. Take your pick. MDM (Middle Eastern Dance Music) can mean different sounds to each person and no one is wrong. This band doesn’t mind bending those rigid genres rules, and they’re all the better for it.
The band’s full-length debut is out September 9th.
“סאביר صابر is an instrumental band of six, playing MDM – Middle eastern Dance Music. [Their] music is a mixture of original Mediterranean pieces with elements of rock, electro, and hip-hop.”
Ecoute: a sketch of slow and melodic Israeli jazz
What starts out as slow, Sketches Of Spain-like jazz turns into a twisting dance of Arabic melodies and grooves. That is the power of Ecoute‘s music, aided by a whole string and horn section and Inbal Jamshid’s beautifully sung poetry.
Avital Raz: “Making people uncomfortable since 1996…”
When I listen to Avital Raz, I hear the traditional folk storytelling of artists like Bob Dylan with a modern twist and some dark humor. The Israeli singer-songwriter, now based in Sheffield, tells poignant stories with simple acoustic playing and some nice orchestral touches. Read up on her fascinating career so far here.
“a vocal artist who travels across many genres. Her songs may resemble old English lute songs, Indian Classical Ragas, Cabaret, Blues or Eastern-European Jewish melodies. A multi-cultured get-together of many strange characters, all rolled up into one quirky singer-songwriter.”
Luna Abu Nassar: Dawame sounds like a dream both calming and sinister
Dawame, Luna Abu Nassar’s second album, sounds like a dream on the banks of a Tel Aviv river, with echoes of different voices and instruments coming in and out as sounds of nature set a calming scene. Her extra touches add a somewhat sinister, deep blue feel that’s very compelling. She could easily be one of the musical artists at the end of the new Twin Peaks episodes.
TATRAN: Tel Aviv psychedelic instrumental power-trio previews new album with bizarre (and excellent) new music video
I have no idea what’s going on in TATRAN‘s latest music video, and I think that’s OK. From the jarring dancing to the masked people who look like Miyazaki extras, there’s a lot going on, and it’s all soundtracked to experimental and jazzy instrumental post-rock.
The video is for “Eyes,” the latest single from the group’s upcoming album ‘No Sides,’ out June 2nd.
From the press release:
“The latest video from Israel’s Tatran is a pulsating visual experience. Created for their latest single “Eyes”, which is also featured on the upcoming album. The work takes place in an ancient bell cave in Israel. As strange figures marvel with each frame, showcasing unique and eye catching abstractions. The lack of identity given to these characters allows them to move with fluidity, while being consumed by the distinctive space.
An incredibly tight production, the video progresses with quick pace mirroring with the unparalleled high notes and melody of the bass, and the deep low lines courtesy of the guitar. The result is a mesmerizing display of creativity that is difficult to ignore. As the video concludes, members of the obtuse pack join a deity, who utilizes a supernatural dance to communicate sweet vibrations to her troops.”
Midnight Peacocks: Israeli stoner metal that embraces its Arabic roots
I don’t often hear violins in stoner metal, so Midnight Peacocks quickly grabbed my attention from “Tzar Bomba” and kept it throughout their entire new LP, ‘Katastroffa,’ which is out now.
From Bandcamp bio:
“The Midnight Peacocks are:
Eitan Radoshinski: Vocals & bass
Guy Shemi: Guitar & Backing Vocals
Yoav Zohar: Drums
Yoni Silver: Violin, Alto Saxophone, Bass Clarinet, Keyboards & Piano
Hezi Shohet: Poetry”
Midnight Peacocks: Facebook
Baharat: vintage Israeli surf rock
Baharat is one of the many exciting bands on Batov Records, a London based independent label with sounds from all over the world. I’m drawn to this Tel Aviv three-piece because the music sounds psychedelic but tight, a kaleidoscope sound that doesn’t get in the way of itself. If you like Tame Impala or any music that would fit well in an Urban Outfitters, you’ll especially like this group.
“In middle eastern cuisine it’s well known – ‘don’t forget to add some Baharat to the dish! It always brings the magic!’ We are very pleased and excited to add a special new spice to the Batov Records kitchen…a band of 3 of Tel-Aviv’s finest hipsters, mixing the flavours of middle-eastern sounds with the vintage vibes of surf music. This tasty EP was recorded at home with minimal equipment, superb musicianship, lots of humility, a tape machine and no drugs. It is still a hallucination of timeless tunes.. and if you don’t think we’re objective about it, you are definitely right.”
David Peretz: ambient-like music from Israel that flutters and floats
David Peretz is an Israeli musician who makes ambient-like music that flutters and floats, like the bird on the cover of his latest release. It broods, yet it’s a sound I enjoy getting lost in.
From the Bandcamp bio:
“musician, producer, writer and ‘cultural gardener’, based in Be’er Sheva -on the edge of the desert in the south of Israel. He was the leader of ‘Blueband’ – a melancholic slow core band, and participated in many other alternative projects. Nowadays he leads a musical solo career”
Tigris: it’s OK to be bizarre as long as you groove like this.
Tel Aviv’s Tigris is a melting pop of different grooves; I hear a few different songs within a single track and it makes me want to dance silly on a beach.
From its Bandcamp bio:
“TIGRIS pulls the East and West African music into a new and surprising musical center. Crazy grooves, special combination of instruments, addictive melodies, and the virtuosity of each band member – puts Tigris in a new territory on the original African music map that covers the world.”