Friday, June 13, 2014

Big it up for Middle Eastern trash rock!

Amir Benayoun sings for Israeli soldiers

 An interesting meditation by Dan Illouz in the Jerusalem Post on the current expression of Israeli music, a blend of influences from around the world: (with thanks: Michelle)

Israel’s music industry is one of the most fascinating in the world, and an analysis of it can help us understand some of the deepest phenomena within Israeli society.

One of the most successful Israeli singers today is Amir Benayoun. A few years ago, Benayoun, of Moroccan descent, released a record in which he took old Israeli songs and recorded covers for them. The result was powerful: The songs, originally recorded with a European touch, became infused with Middle Eastern sounds.

East and West merged into an authentic Israeli sound.

Benayoun is not the only Israeli artist who brings together many influences into his music. Idan Raichel is known internationally for his ability to bring together artists of various musical backgrounds to create a truly universal sound. To most international listeners, the result seems multicultural; to Israelis, there is nothing more Israeli than the music of Raichel.

Riff Cohen, for her part, recently defined her music as “Middle Eastern trash rock,” incorporating influences from Western rock and the Levant.

This phenomenon is an expression of some of the deep sociological developments in Israel; a deeper study of it will help us gain an in-depth understanding of the Jewish state.

Read article in full

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