israeli posts

Boom Pam

Friday, October 23rd, 2009 by Julija

surf // indie eclectic

During my year spent in Tel Aviv I’ve learnt about many indie artists and been to a countless number of local gigs. Many of these discoveries I have already shared with you, avid readers, yet there is one act both Paul and I have been wanting to introduce to a wider audience of music lovers. Tel Aviv-based Boom Pam sounds unmistakably Mediterranean. There are Greek influences (think energetic Greek wedding music), Oriental motifs (traditional Middle Eastern melodies) and Balkan rhythms (passionate and vibrant) in their music. You can easily say as well it’s a Tel Avivian vibe, multicultural, stylish and laid back at the same time. “Wedding song” an up-tempo track from their almost entirely instrumental self-titled record features tuba and surf guitars and gives you a good idea of what Boom Pam sounds like. Boom Pam’s interpretation of Dick Dale’s “The Wedge”, Puerto Rican Nights (2008), is a mixture of Mediterranean heat and an American western movie.

Mediterranean eclecticism played with tremendous energy.
Boom Pam – Wedding Song
Boom Pam – The Wedge
+ Purchase/Visit

The Ramirez Brothers

Monday, February 2nd, 2009 by Julija

funk // jam band

Among Tel Aviv’s alternative music lovers, the Ramirez Brothers trio has made a good name for their outstanding lively performances long before their debut album release. 100% analog, The Ramirez Brothers’ recently released album captures that special sound quality, preserving the atmosphere of the live show. “Sizzlin’ ” featuring Karolina on vocals, delivers stylish rhythmic grooves along with a funky, sunny feeling.

From groovy freestyle to tight uptempo funk.
The Ramirez Brothers – Sizzlin’
+ Purchase/Visit


Thursday, July 24th, 2008 by Julija

freestyle chill // downtempo // breakbeat

The alternative scene of groovy, funky and stylish music in Israel is probably more colourful and lively than ever. In his solo project J.Viewz, Tel Aviv-based musician, turntablist and producer Jonathan Dagan seamlessly merges his passion for jazz and electronic music. The cool and quirky electronic textures of J.Viewz’ track “Muse Breaks” evolve from the soft yet dancefloor-friendly breaks to the moving rhythms and hypnotic downtempo, bringing to mind the early work of Kosheen. Jonathan’s superb production skills, the beautiful female vocals and a hint of subtle tension render Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” into a delightfully mellow treat.

Tightly woven beats and soulful vibes.
J.Viewz – Muse Breaks
J.Viewz – Smooth Criminal (stream only)
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Panic Ensemble

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008 by Julija

cabaret // klezmer

Fusing the strains of the centuries-old traditions, modern and the experimental, Israeli collective Panic Ensemble creates an intensely dramatic, cabaret-infused sound and appealing theatrical atmosphere. Playing a wide range of instruments, such as viola, accordion, contrabass, keyboards and percussion, the eight musicians of Panic Ensemble mix the expressive Klezmer melodies, massive rock energy and jazz influences. In their recently released self-titled album, Panic Ensemble weave their original arrangements with electronic subtleties and powerful, partly based on professional literature lyrics.

Full of poetic intensity and beauty.
Panic Ensemble – Spring In Your Heart
Panic Ensemble – Jewish Woman
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Windy & Destiny

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008 by Julija

indie-pop // psychedelic

Working in a minimalist apartment studio in Tel Aviv, Windy & Destiny present the psyche-reflecting soundtrack of their lives. The gentle pulsations, guitar waves and warm female vocals of their debut album evolve like an ever-changing mini-psychedelic experience, transforming into a rhythmic and relaxing musical structure. At times more uptempo and catchy, and at times tenderly melancholic with a shoegaze vibe, Words For Such A Riot (2007) is somewhere between adorably sweet and slightly menacing.

Dreamy notes and darker hints.
Windy & Destiny – In Another Day
Windy & Destiny – A House For You
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The Apples

Saturday, February 2nd, 2008 by Julija

funk // turntablism

Armed with two saxophones, trumpet, trombone, drums, bass and turntables, nine Israeli funksters leave unforgettable impression. Keeping the crowd dripping with sweat from non-stop ecstatic dancing and jumping, The Apples mix everything from adrenalized funk to exciting elements of jungle and drum’n’bass, and certain touches of traditional Jewish Klezmer. Packed with funky energy from beginning to end, the instrumental blend of soul-jazz and excellent scratch routines of their album Attention!, sounds spontaneous, adventurous and dangerously addictive.

“Consumption may cause uncontrollable body movements.”
The Apples – Attention!
The Apples – Natri Ba Makom
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Karolina & Funset

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008 by Julija

reggae // funk

A member of Habanot Nechama, versatile performer and vocalist for Kutiman’s funky tunes, MC Karolina deserves a mention for her colourful mixture of sounds. With the jolly jump-up reggae and funk infusions, fun grooves and playful lyrics, Karolina & Funset form their own conception of catchiness. Improving the mood at any time, getting the audience on their feet , “Lion” is an entirely fun experience.

Brimming with high energy and explosive singing.
Karolina & Funset – Lion
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Wednesday, December 12th, 2007 by Julija

afro-beat // funk

Fusing vintage influences with the modern psychedelic, Israeli multi-instrumentalist and composer Ophir “Kutiman” Kutiel captures the essence of the great funk. Loaded with scratchy guitar riffs, horn arrangements, and the catchy vocal hooks of his affiliate musicians, wonderfully produced Kutiman’s first full-length album delivers everything we love about hip-swaying funk and the feeling of the 70’s. Dabbling in afro-beat, soul and disco grooves, Kutiman keeps my head spinning and my feet moving.

Intoxicating experience for your body and soul.
Kutiman – Music Is Ruling My World (feat. Karolina)
Kutiman – No Reason For You (feat. Elran Dekel)
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Yael Naim

Sunday, October 7th, 2007 by Julija

pop folk // soft r&b

When Paris-born, Israeli-raised Yael Naim met David Donatien, a West Indian drummer, the two sat down to share their rich musical experiences. Combining Yael’s classical education and love of pop and jazz, this collaboration lead into recording 13 beautifully arranged compositions, mostly sung in Hebrew, with instrumentation of piano, guitar, cello, bass and percussion. While the mood ranges from melancholic to sweeter and hopeful notes, she carries intimate feeling throughout her songs.

Never-fading optimism that leaves you smiling and humming along.
Yael Naim – New Soul
Yael Naim – Pachad

UPDATE 01/16/2008: “New Soul” is featured in Apple’s ad for the Macbook Air (thx, zelnox!)
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Habanot Nechama

Thursday, September 13th, 2007 by Julija

israeli acoustic indie reggae

Clapping my hands and swaying from side to side, I enjoy listening to the sunny sounds of Habanot Nechama. Warming and comforting, as Hebrew word nechama indicates to consolation, the trio of experienced Israeli singers combines soothing and joyful tones in their music. The nechama girls’ soulful vocals, minimalist arrangements of acoustic guitars and drums, carrying reggae infusions, and the overall vibe of optimism, deliver more than a lovely reminiscence of fading summer. (Thanks dirkhaim!)

Uplifts the spirit, and makes it summer anytime.
Habanot Nechama – Hakol Kashura (Everything’s Alright)
Habanot Nechama – So Far Lihiot (To Be)
buy this cd