With a Dazzling Number of Musical Projects and an Undeniable Mass of Talent, Tel-Aviv Has Long Been a Hub for Musicians from a Broad Spectrum of Styles. Get Hooked with 11 of the Most Outstanding of Them (Plus a Jerusalem Cherry on Top). Find out more on our special Spotify playlist.
By Noa Faran
Yossi Fine needs no introductions. The godfather of Israel’s hip hop music scene, whose contribution and influence are profound. In his latest project “Blue Desert” he joined forces with Ben Ayalon, and they created a new language of music. “Blue Desert” takes you on a journey across Africa into the Sahara desert, on to the Middle Eastern groove, with touches of Rock and even Psychedelia. This album is a delightful ride through the musical soul of an artist that no-matter how deep he investigates, always surfaces back up with something that you will truly want to listen to time and time again.
What is it about Itai Soffer that just does it for us? Soffer has that elusive star quality everyone is searching for, presenting his captivating melodies with an effortless introvert charm that just pulls you in. Soffer went through what we call an organic path in his short career, gathering an ever-growing group of loyal fans that fill up every small club he’s been playing at in the past year. Get ready to fall in love.
One of the most promising new female artists that emerged in the Israeli Indie scene, Adi Keshet Cohen’s music opens a wormhole into another dimension. Her soft floaty voice and her ever-so-tender presentation, create immediate intimacy, which touches the most vulnerable areas under your skin. Her consistent choice of minimalist arrangements, accompanied only by her piano and the occasional back vocals, just add to the grip. An immediate “add to playlist” stuff.
With what seems like absolutely limitless talent, multi-instrumentalist Ron Minis created a new movement in Tel-Aviv that revolves around his charismatic and enigmatic persona and his groundbreaking approach to sound and music. In the era of selling-out, Ron is pure DIY, crafting unique instruments, playing, recording and touring with bands ranging from punk-rock and metal to modern-classical music and a solo project of Hebrew singing-songwriting. But in his latest Album “Pale Blue Dot”, he takes on his most recognizable skill as a Jazz pianist, in a Trio with contrabass and drums, creating music that is both fun & intriguing. Dive In.
Selah Collective belongs to a new generation of musicians that dug deeper beyond the obvious influences of the 90’s, turned off social media to actually practice, and emerged with some bad-ass skills. They define their music as Mediterranean Jazz, a definition which becomes clear as you listen to their 2019 debut album “Belonging”. In this ingenious LP, the 6-piece ensemble succeeded in creating a fusion of flavors from all over the world, and stay deeply grounded in the funky, mischievous & upbeat Israeli mentality. You are in for some good time.
Punk Rock as a genre might follow a certain formula, but nevertheless – you can still mess it up badly in the worst case, or be super-boring in the best. But when it’s done right, it punches you straight in the face and throws you into a mix of Adrenalin, Oxytocin, and teen-spirit. Not On Tour are nailing it with spot-on butt-kicking Punk-Rock for almost a decade, with an impressive output of 5 albums; quite an achievement in a time when the average life-span of a band is a couple of years. They are the best friends you always wish you had, and they take no shortcuts as they push towards excellence with their lyrics, melodies, performance, and even their merch and designs.
An oriental guitar riff opens. An upbeat rock groove kicks in. A choir of vocal layers enters, as the guitar part turns into a heavy-metal-like solo. Before you know it – you find yourself immersed in a stirring beat that you will never want to get off of. This is the type of trip you can expect when you enter the gates of Yossi Sassi’s Oriental Rock Orchestra. Although Sassi, former Orphaned Land guitarist, could quite easily play all the parts himself, he chose not to give up on the type of vibrant magic that can only happen when 9 multi-talented musicians get together.
We usually hate it when people say “It doesn’t sound Israeli” about music, implying that the local music is somehow inherently inferior. Yet, listening to Walkways, honestly, we cannot believe this stuff is Israeli! A force to be reckoned with in the alternative-metal scene, Walkways has a distinctive sound, a result of their 13 years of making music together and growing as people and musicians in the local and international industry. With 2 studio albums behind them, their true creative force seems to be at its prime.
ForesTT is an out-of-the-ordinary group that makes us wonder how could it be that a similar sound and concept were not created here even sooner. Emerging from the broad spiritual and shamanic movements of the country, ForesTT brings together a combination of international influences, creating a whole that is bigger than the sum of its parts. With 6 musicians and vocalists, combining violin and flute, they bring a new musical experience, that takes you across the world and then back into yourself.
Alon Lotringer is a renowned musician, composer, singer-songwriter and musical producer, that has been active in the independent music scene for many years. As a composer and producer, he kept reinventing himself, writing music for Film & Television, and producing albums for major artists such as Yoni Rechter. As for his solo career, Lotringer is maintaining a coherent line of dark and bluesy sound, with his deep, complicated and soul-searching lyrics. He recently released the first single from his new project “Ground”, with the beautiful, vulnerable and self-reflective song “The Maze”.
Get Out of Town! Insanely good music comes from outside of Tel-Aviv too! The Jerusalem Orchestra East & West led by the world-renowned maestro Tom Cohen, do nothing less than rewrite and reinvent the music of the Mediterranean. This is where authentic Arab instruments play alongside traditional western orchestral ones, in an arrangement that you’ve never heard before. East and West collide and blend, giving classical Arab & Jewish music a western twist, that pays tribute to their heritage but at the same time makes it accessible to new, modern audiences.