Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Faust - Disconnected

Despite being a bit biased (first and foremost as a devoted Faust fan for more then 25 years but also due to the fact I mixed and mastered the bonus track on the "special edition") Me thinks this might be the best thing Faust released since their glory days in the early 70's and makes it a real cause for celebration.
All the special ingredients that make the Faust experience are here and a few new ones added. Pioneering the usage of the studio as a creative compositional tool. A mix of electronics, rock beats, extensive editing, acoustic instruments, musique concrete, and industrial atmospheres. There is a strong sense of tension and suspense running trough the cd. And despite the obvious huge amount of studio work obviously it took to make this it still feels organic and cohesive.
Here is a short audio sample of Lass Mich the first track.
In April I had the chance to actually see and enjoy the live Faust experience as they were headlining the RIO Festival in Carmeaux. While doing the sound for the Present 2 Pianos show I noticed a man sitting right next to the mixing desk watching the whole sound check. At the end he approached me and complimented on the sound and asked me were am I from I told him from Tel Aviv Israel and then asked him were he was from and he told me something like: "I'm originally French but living in Germany" and when I asked him what exactly he was doing there he told me he came to play with his band in the festival -it took me a second or 2 to realize I was talking to Jean Herve' Peron of Faust Wow ! Anyway we had a nice lunch together and I made him take off and give me his only 71 min T shirt (he is extremely nice to fanboys like me).
We stayed in touch and I sent him some of my mixing works -He especially liked the Fred Frith & Chris Cutler Live in Tel Aviv recordings I made in 2005 (god know when these will ever see the light of day...). That led to me mixing "Hard Rain" one of the songs from the live show at the RIO festival

...And the good news is that Faust will probably be coming to their first show here in the Holy Land (2 shows one in Tel Aviv and one in Jerusalem) later this year and I will be doing the sound (probably will record them too).

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Anova Records-Rockfour,Anat Damon,Amit Erez

This week I worked on making the new master of Rockfour's latest cd :Memories Of The Never Happened. Rockfour are a veteran Israeli band that specializes in psychedelic rock and this is their 6th international release.I have known them for many many years having shared the same studios and through mutual friends (Izabo ,Tractor's Revenge) but this was my first opportunity to work with them and it seemed we hit it off quite well right from the start (these guys have loads of experience and know exactly what they want )
This album is extremely colorful and melodic with a healthy live playing vibe (unlike a lot of rock albums that are currently recorded) and loads of positive energy throughout .
They recently won a competition run by Dave Gilmour of covers for Pink Floyd's Arnold Lane the prize was to record at the legendary Abbey Road Studios and from hearing the tracks I must tell you it sounds fantastic.
The album is released by a new Israeli label Anova Records - this is a label run by music enthusiasts that make it a different species in the local music industry puddle . Their maiden issue weas to re-release was the wonderful debut by Anat Damon Falling a unique and charming Israeli singer/songwriter (I did the mastering for this cd a few years back).
Other artists in the pipeline Amit Erez another promising Israeli singer songwriter with whom I had the pleasure to work with on his former EP Black Light
Good luck Anova !

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Kletka Red - Hybrid

One of my reasons to start writing these pages was to shed some light on music that somehow is overlooked and needs more attention.
Now and then I will be writing a few words giving my insights about these musical gems, direct people to more info and hopefully have some sound samples and links.

This time I'll start with a cd that is in my opinion one of the very best of the last years yet because of lack of promotion and other reasons hardly got any exposure.
Kletka Red is a multi international band originally conceived by Leonid Soybelman ( Ne Zhdali), one of my favorite musicians and guitarist. Kletka Red also includes Andy Moor (The Ex) on guitar,Tony Buck (The Necks,Peril etc.) on drums and newcomer Joe Williamson on bass. They play a unique mixture of a jerky fractured hybrid of hard piercing punk rock improvised noise with all sorts of of East European traditional music (Klezmer,Rembetika,Russian folk etc.) plus a dose of dissonant avant flavors to top it.
In 2000 Kletka Red released Hybrid the follow up to the Highjack debut cd released on John Zorn's Tzadik a few years back.
The playing on this recording is extremely live and energetic and give the listener the impression of spontaneity despite the intricate nature of the interplay involved.
The combination of Soybelman and Moor's guitars is impressive often coming up with explosive passages and telepathic like synchronization .Buck shows completely different side of his usual playing with The Necks and proves how much of a versatile player he is and Williamson blends naturally with him.
Most of the pieces have Leonid Soybelman's typical charming Russian Yiddish and his own invented vocals and texts that often add a sense of humor and authenticity .
There is a nice balance between those hard rocking bracing pieces and the more gentle poetic "acoustic" songs (mostly the rembetica inspired ones) giving the album depth and variety
Why this essential piece of music failed to reach its potential audience is a mystery.There was a lot of care and work put into into this record (nice sleeve art and digipack).
Sadly In recent years Leonid Soybelman has completely abandoned music and has no plans to return.He uploaded a low bit rate version of this album FOR FREE DOWNLOAD so one can listen and get a taste : Here
I hope this gives people the urge to go out and buy the album (it has been re released in 2006 ) and that Leonid returns from his retirement to make some new music.

Here is a A Video clip made from footage filmed on the bands last tour.Mostly in Venice.Featuring 2 songs from Hybrid -"Pardon Grand Merci" & "How I Forget"

Monday, July 16, 2007

Yitzhak Yedid New Works

Finalized the master for Yitzhak Yedid's -"Oud Bass Piano Trio". A 68 minutes composition in five movements. Yitzhak is an extremely gifted hard working dedicated young pianist,composer. His music combines contemporary classical ,free jazz and jewish music..This is the 2nd work I am doing with Yedid .The previous was: Reflections upon Six Images featuring clarinetist Francois Houle and longtime collaborator the wonderful Ora Horev on double bass. Here is a short audio clip.
Working with him is always interesting and challenging .His music demands a classical approach in dealing with the natural timbres of the instruments and the space and ambience in which the music is recorded. This requires precision and attention to detail. Listen to a short sample here. To Be released later this year by Between The Lines Records .

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Busy Week

So This is were I share info on my endless tweaking noodling etc.
These past few days were busy with tediously correcting the mixes done for
Faust, Salle Gaveau and Guapo.
These were recorded at the Rock In Opposition Festival in France in April and by some mysterious way turned out in the wrong speed .
Faust's mix will be added as a bonus cd to their new upcoming cd and is on its way to manufacturing plant in the UK.
Salle Gaveau and Guapo will be done this week and hopefully mastered soon.

Also the master for Bill Gilonis & Chantale Laplante's- Zurich Bamberg project for Dave Kerman's Ad Hoc Records has been finalized - truly an inspiring listening experience. A CD project of electro-acoustic pieces (ping-ponging audio file CDs between Canada and Z├╝rich). somewhere between music concrete and sound art.

Also putting the finishing touches on the master of BBI (Bussonnet/Buire/Imperato-) - Wha Fuzz -Philippe Bussonet's pre-One Shot power trio with the ex-Offering drummer and ex Xaal guitarist- on Soleil Zeuhl.

The mixes for Roy Yarkoni's (Ahvak) new band Dropkin featuring Jewlia Eisenberg need some more tweaking and retweaking - we will see when this project will see the light of day it seems very promising.

Otherwise its F^&^%%$ hot here in the middle east... my analog gear is just boiling in the 75% humidity