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The Jewish Monkeys are masters of identity play, knights of the absurd, musicians and comedians, who deliver an exhilarating show. They love breaking ethnic and religious taboos, combined with liberating salvos of satire and Balkan klezmer’esque rock music in English and Yiddish. They rarely fail to get people on their feet, dancing: from Syrian refugees in a Dresden transit camp to anti-Pegida protesters the next day. Or from culturally savvy music lovers in [...]

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ASSAF PARIENTE: VOCALS
JOSSI REICH: VOCALS
GAEL ZAIDNER: VOCALS
RAN BAGNO: ACCORDION
YOLI BAUM: BASS
HENRY VERED: DRUMS
OMER HERSHMAN: GUITAR
MORAN BARON: TROMBONE
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Tracks

High Words

Oy Brigitte 
Jm Fever 
Post Midlife Dance 
Alte Kacker 
Titina 
Pupik 
High Words 
I Wonder 
Romania 

Mania Regressia

Caravan Petrol 

Caravan Petrol / I want control / Nissan Patrol 
Remote control / Caraca-racara… / Caravan Petrol 

Oy isn’t it an oily planet? /Money feeds the oily expectations of the oil-consuming nations / Leads to global exploitation / I used to be a motherfucker, not knowing what to do in life/I was looking for sensation / In the army of salvation/ But they didn’t have a clue/If only they would see/ How clean the world could be/If they just exchanged the oil for solar energy / Wouldn’t it be nice? / If I went to paradise / Leaving earth a better place /Unspoiled by human race / 

I used to be a motherfucker /Not knowing what to do in life / I was living in disguise / And was hiding from my wife / Desperately wandering in the desert/Trying to purify some water/ But instead I met the daughter / Of the Sheik who owned the well / Well well well well! Fatima Morgana / I showed her my banana / We listened to Santana / This desert is Nirvana / Fatima Morgana /Was licking my banana / Erupting a Fontana / Her Papa was in oil / oyoyoyoyoy Oil /I start to like the goil 

He needed the sheik’s water/ But instead I fucked his daughter / Now the sheik he wants to slaughter / Everyone who fucks his girl / A little defloration /That was such a big sensation / Had to take her for my wife / To escape her Papa’s knife / Kni kni kni kni kni knife / The best chance of my life! 

(instrumental intermezzo) 

If only it could be / That the oil belonged to me / I would sell this whole Nirvana / And end my misery / Be rich eternally / Fuck solar energy / And all humanity / If only they could see / That the king of oil is me / And my oily queen is Fati.. Fatima Morgana/ Ala ala ala / I want her Papa’s car / I’m going to be a star/ I don’t give a shit about pollution / Only the petrol distribution / Is the only right solution / Stop this eco-revolution

Black but Sweet 

What is the woman and you will see, a nice black woman they call Didi / When she presses sweet lips to mine / I said Mammy kiss Pappy all the time 

She is black and only and that is all / She is black and only and that is all / When men meet her, they bound to fall / Until her Mammy doesn’t sleep, oh Lord 

What is the woman and you will see / A nice black woman they call Didi / when she presses sweet lips to mine / I said Mammy kiss Pappy all the time / Didi is that bright of my heart / I felt so funny with her to part / The people in the country of Caroline / can tell how Didi loves Houdini 

Young boy think that they fight for me / Don’t put yourself into difficulties / For it is for this positive fact / The sweetest women in the world of luck / Don’t you mind when you get up old / It’s for never mute, keep cost in your soul / With your black baby you are born to stay / You cannot leave her and go away 

I said Didi, I’m going away / But no longer I cannot stay / Mammy as it is, for this is fact / Sweet Houdini soon is coming back

Luba Lubaviczer 

Petrosilia / Che Guevara 
Rojte Paprika / Mata Hari 
Superwomen / Metaplastik 
Mamographia 

LUBA LUBAVICZER 

Krimme Fiess / Groisse Zitzkalach / Ciciollina 
Mania Regressia / Pizda Kurva 
Kama Sutra / Pseudo Palavra 

LUBA LUBAVICZER 

Luba, Luba, Luba, Luba!! / 
Dayne Oygn hobn sech arayngedrayt in mayne Nishume/ Und ich bin im / Ganzn meshigge gewordn / Oy oy oy oy 

(English): 
Luba, Luba, Luba, Luba!! / Your eyes crashed into my soul/and I became totally crazy/Oy oy oy oy 

Papirossen / Hare Krishna 
Cucarracia / Hiper Histeria 
Noch a zingale / Semi Conductor / Toda la Noce 

LUBA LUBAVICZER 

Alte Kretshme / Poco poco 
Trichomonas / Sensationell 
Psychotherapia / Hysterectomy / Apoplexia 

LUBA LUBAVICZER 

Luba, Luba, Luba, Luba!! / As du kishst mech, brennt a fayer in mir / Oy oy oy oy 

(ENGLISH): When you kiss me, a fire burns in me/ Oy oy oy oy 
Schoyn avek der Nechten / Noch nisht du der Morgen /Es is noch du a bissale Haynt / Ster ihn nisht mit Sorgen 

(English): 
Yesterday is already gone / Tomorrow is still not there /There is still a little bit of Today / Don’t disturb it with sorrows

Johnny is the Goy for Me 

“Johnny is the goy for me” /This is what she said to me … 

“Tall and blond / His eyes are blue / He fucks like hell /Doesn’t smell” / Oy, vey Jossl can’t you see?/ “Day and night / I think of him/ He rides a horse / He goes to the gym” /This is what she said to me … 

DaDai… 

“Johnny is the goy for me” / So I said “Nuuu? Why not a Jew?” 

“All the day / You count and pray / You promise the moon/And come too soon” / Oy, vey, Jossl, can’t you see?/ “You bring no check / Got hair on the back / You snore at night / Mama was right”/ Jossl, you’re no joy for her 

DaDai… 

(Intermezzo): 
Jossl is no joy for her / For Johnny Goy she’s just a toy 

I jumped from a tree / I broke my knee / I rode a bike / Even fucked a dike / Nothing’s good enough for her/ But now I found my Suzy Jane / She can’t do Tshulent / But never complains / For Sue I’m not a lousy Jew / For Sue I’m like a Johnny too 

DaDai…

So Nice 

Louis was a financial fart/Spent all his money eating tart / It made him fat and stopped his heart/ Financial fart was not so smart 

Everything’s so nice / Oy, it’s just so nice / Isn’t it paradise? / Some people eat just rice 

Terry was a terrorist/ Couldn’t handle his father’s fist / The people thought that he’s a joke / Some of them went up in smoke 

Everything’s so nice / Oy, it’s just so nice / Isn’t it paradise? / Some people eat just rice 

Everything’s so great/ Just enjoy your fate / Everything’s so great/ Just enjoy your fate/daidaidai… 

Jezebel she couldn’t smell/ Her father’s breath was responsible / When he touched her in the loo/ She lost her other senses too 

Everything’s so nice/ Oy, it’s just so nice / Isn’t it paradise? / Some people eat just rice 

Everything’s so great/ Just enjoy your fate / Everything’s so great/Just enjoy your fate/daidaidai… 

Geraldine had a spleen/Everything had to be clean/She was never satisfied/ ’Cause the shit came from inside /…From inside… from inside…from inside… 

Everything’s so great/Just enjoy your fate / daidaidai… 
Everything’s so great/Just enjoy your fate/daidaidai… 

Don’t you mind your enemies /Enemas and bumble bees/ Love your neighbor, kiss your wife/ You will probably meet them in the afterlife 

Everything’s so nice/ Oy, it’s just so nice / Isn’t it paradise? / Some people eat just rice

Misirlou 

(Yiddish) 
Vayt in dem midbar / Fun heyser zin farbrent/ Hob ikh amol a meydele dort gekent / Misirilou heyst zi/ Yeder dort veyst zi gut/ Kh’vel di printsesn mer shoyn fargesn nit. 

Far in the Desert/ Burnt by the hot sun /I once knew a girl / Misirilou was her name / Everybody there knew her / I will already not forget the princess 

(Yiddish) 
Shtil, ovent kil, Un ikh fil az ikh vil mayn gefil /Far ir oysgisn un zi zol visn nor, Az nor zi lib ikh, Mayn lebn gikh ir, yo / 

Silence, cool evening, And I feel / That I will my feeling 
Spill out in front of her / And she should know / That only her I love / My life I give to her 

(Yiddish) 
Her, s’iz mir shver, Mit a trer zog ikh dir un ikh shver / Midber printsesn, kh’ken nit fargesn dikh / Kum hayl mayn benkshaft, nor di kenst hayln mikh / 

Listen, it is difficult / With a tear, I tell you / And I swear 
Desert princess, I cannot forget you / Come heal my longing / Only you can heal me 

(Yiddish) 
Misirilou mayne, meydale fun orient, Di oygn dayne hobn mayn harts farbrent / Mayn harts vert kranker, in chulem sey ikh dikh/ ants far mir shlanke /Drey zikh geshvind gikh. Midber printsesn, kh’ken nit fargesn dikh / Kum heyl mayn benkshaft, nor di kenst heyln mikh / Mayn mizrakh, blum misirilou 

My Misirilou, girl from the orient / Your eyes have burnt my heart / My hearts gets sicker / In my dreams I see you / Dance in front of me, my beautiful / Turn around even quicker(Desert princess, I cannot forget you / Come heal my longing / Only you can heal me 

My eastern flower, Misirilou

Heat, Meat, Beautiful Feet 

Sitting in my back yard /Everyone’s here / Trying to get the fire start / Listening to my friends fart / Uzi gets stoned / Moishe likes beer / Uzi’s wife wished he had Moishe’s career/ Mama is excited – I’m feeling so alone / Watching my dogs – chewing on a bone/ My lips are swollen and my head is numb / The sun is boiling /I had too much rum 

Meat, heat – beautiful feet / Oy, a mechaye – what more do I need? 
Meat, heat – beautiful feet / Oy a mechaye – is it guilt, is it greed?

It couldn’t be much better / There’s pressure in my chest / Everyone is boring / The dogs are depressed 

Never wanted to become one of those / Why are the kids always pulling my nose? 
The drinks are warm / The girls are lame / The guys are laughing, I am getting insane/ Life is too long / And it’s mostly cruel / My prostata is burning /I wish I had a pool/ 

Meat, heat – beautiful feet / Oy, a mechaye – what more do I need / 
Meat, heat – beautiful feet / Oy, a mechaye – is it guilt, is it greed? 

Meat, heat – beautiful feet / Oy, a mechaye – what more do I need? 

Meat, heat – beautiful feet / Oy, a mechaye – is it guilt, is it greed? 

I wonder why the women that I love / Always have to live with the men I hate/ 
Maybe a fancy house is enough / To make them believe that these shmocks are great/ I’m asking for a hand, doing me a favor / But she’s always busy with her pussy-shaver/ I should’ve sticked to my family’s taboo – / “Never mar ry a woman uglier than you” 

Meat, heat – beautiful feet / Oy, a mechaye – what more do I need? 

Meat, heat – beautiful feet / Oy, a mechaye – is it guilt, is it greed? 

Suddenly everyone’s a little bit stressed / The neighbor’s daughter is practically undressed But I will stick to the rules of the game /’ Cause “EDIPUSSY” is my second name

Banana Boat vs. Hava Nagila 

Day oh, Day oh / Daylight come and we wanna go home / Day is the day is the day is the day is the day is the day oh ho hou / Daylight come and we wanna go home 
Announcer: Wait a second. Why do you wanna go home yet? / You want a peace in the Middle East?? 
The two Jews: Don’t they say, make love not war 
The Arab: Leave our land, and we won’t break your jaw 
The two Jews: They killed us in Europe, we need real estate 
The Arab: You gave us the Nakba, now go get your fate 
The two Jews: For 2000 years we are longing for Jerusalem 
The Arab: Al-Quds is ours, Al-Aqsa won’t fall 
The two Jews: For 2000 years we are longing for the Promised Land 
The Arab: Since Muhammad we had the upper hand 
The two Jews: For 2000 years we are longing for Zion, 
The Arab: We don’t have a chance but we fight like a lion 
The two Jews: We are the chosen, the people of God 
The Arab: We’re blessed by Allah!!! Eternal Jihad 

Day oh, Day oh / Daylight come and we wanna go home / day it’s the day oh… / Daylight come and we wanna to go home 
Announcer: Actually, Why don’t we live in peace and harmony / like in Harry Belafonte’s Banana Boat / Look there is a Russian, an Indian, an African, an American 

I work all night and I drink all rum / Daylight come and we wanna go home. / Come Mr. Tallyman, tally me banana / 
Daylight come… 

A beautiful bunch, a ripe banana / Daylight come… / Hide the deadly black tarantula/ Daylight come… 
day it’s the day oh… / Daylight come and we wanna to go home 

It’s six foot, seven foot, eight foot, bunch! / Daylight come… 
Daylight come and we wanna go home 
Announcer: Did you see? / They are singing and dancing together /In fuck’n peace and harmony, Like in Harry Belafonte’s Banana Boat 

Let’s take the Banana Boat to the fuck’n Middle East

You, You and You 

I am so desperate / I cannot separate / Just don’t know what to do / It’s not my fault, 
That you confuse me / And you – you confuse me too 

Is it possible ?/ You think there’s someone else / And it tears my heart in two / You must believe it / For me there’s only one / And that’s you, you and you 

You got to choose / You just have to decide / You got to choose / Which one of us is right, is right, is right 

You say you love me/ But you don’t trust me / You say I have to decide / I would do anything /But my love for you / I can never divide / You don’t believe me / You misconceive me / What do you think I do? / I am not ambivalent / There’s no equivalent / To either one of you 
You got to choose / You just have to decide / You got to choose / Which one of us is right, is right, is right 

Misty psychics, psychiatrists and my cleaning woman, too /They do all agree / Unequivocally / That I am crazy about you / In my diary / In my testament / And my shopping list too / This one and only line / I never redefine / Just says you, you and you 

You got to choose / You just have to decide / You got to choose / Which one of us is right, is right, is right 

If I must choose / There’s no doubt what to do / If I must choose / My choice is you, you and you

Add It Up 

Why can’t I get just one kiss? / Why can’t I get just one kiss? / Believe me there’s something I wouldn’t miss, but I look at your pants and I need a kiss. 

Why can’t I get just one screw? / Why can’t I get just one screw? / Believe me I know what to do, but something won’t let me make love to you. 

Why can’t I get just one fuck? / Why can’t I get just one fuck? / I guess it’s got something to do with luck, but I’ve waited my whole life for just one… 

Day after day I get angry and I will say / that the day is in my sight, when I’ll take a bow / And say good night. 

Oh ma ma ma ma ma Mom / Have you kept an eye, an eye on your son / I know you’ve got problems/ You’re not the only one, when your sugar left / he left you on the run. 

Oh ma ma ma ma ma Maminyu 
Take a good look what your boy has done / He’s walking around like he’s number one / He went downtown and got him a gun. 

Don’t shoot shoot shoot that thing at me / Don’t shoot shoot shoot that thing at me / You know you’ve got my sympathy, but / don’t shoot shoot shoot that thing at me. 

Oh ma ma ma ma ma ma Mother / I would love to love you lover / The city’s restless, it’s ready to pounce / Here in your bedroom ounce for ounce. 
Oh ma ma ma ma ma ma ma Maminyu / I would love to love you lover / The city’s restless, it’s ready to pounce. / Here in your bedroom ounce for ounce. 

I am giving you decisions to make, things to lose, things to take / Just as he’s about ready to cut it up, / I said “wait a minute honey, I am gonna add it up” 
Add it up Add it up Add it up… 

Day after day I get angry and I will say / that the day is in my sight, when I’ll take a bow / And say good night.

Live Music

Rumania @ Vienna Accordion Festival 
Johnny is the Goy for me @ Nachtleben Frankfurt 
Heat, Meat, Beautiful Feet @ Furth 
Add It Up @ Vienna Accordion Festival 
Hit me with your Rhythm Stick @ Furth 
Luba @ Fuerth 
Papirosen @ Vienna Accordion Festival 
Titina @ Fürth 
videos

Official Videos

Jewish Monkeys – "Pupik"
Jewish Monkeys – "Heat, Meat, Beautiful Feet"
Jewish Monkeys – "Romania"
Jewish Monkeys – "Caravan Petrol"
Jewish Monkeys – "Banana Boat vs Hava Nagila"
Jewish Monkeys – "Black But Sweet"

Unplugged

Jewish Monkeys – "Shprayz Ikh Mir" (Live @ Salon 99, Frankfurt)
Jewish Monkeys – "Misirlou feat. Despina Apostolou" (Live @ Salon 99, Frankfurt)
Jewish Monkeys – "Luba Lubaviczer" (Live @ Salon 99, Frankfurt)

Berlin Sessions

Jewish Monkeys - "Titina"

The German Chronicles

The German Chronicles Part 1 – Jewish Monkeys Playing for Refugees in Dresden (2015)
The German Chronicles Part 2 – Jewish Monkeys Protesting Pegida in Dresden (2015)

Live Videos

Live @ Passing Clouds, London
Black But Sweet (Berlin @Rykestr-Synagoge, September 2014)
So Nice (Berlin @Rykestr-Synagoge, September 2014)
press
If you like the wilder klezmer bands, then step right up to the Monkeys.
(Folkworld Review 01/09/17) +

“Klezmer punk is what I was expecting and it is what this collective delivered. The pace is there, but there is a lighthearted nature to their approach, which keeps it fun and invigorating. So much gypsy punk is based on pace and energy with a certain craziness within. This has much of that, but it is far more relaxed and focused on melody, even with a slower song here and there. So if gypsy punk is something you are only half into, this may be the half you are looking for. And if you like the wilder klezmer bands, then step right up to the Monkeys.”
David Hintz, Folkworld Review, September 2017

A fine statement against the all too politically correct thinking.
(Written In Music 02/07/17) +

“A fine statement against the all too politically correct thinking, with a very nice soundtrack … This produces a very exciting, danceable album, which is undoubtedly worth seeing live.”
Philippe De Cleen, Written In Music, July 2, 2017

Anarcho-klezmer with a wink.
(Rebel Base / Tropicalidad 19/06/17) +

“The title track of this new album is an indictment of the establishment that is trying to appease the people with the kind of demagoguery we can still remember from the last world war, instead of focusing on real problems like inequality and ecology. But the fact they also have a lighter side, the band proves with ‘Alte Kacker’ (loosely translated: “old fart”), a cynical song about the ungracefulness of old age. Anarcho-klezmer with a wink!”
– Rebel Base (Belgium), June 19, 2017

Also available on: Tropicalidad (Belgium).

On ‘High Words’ the notorious klezmer punks take another swipe at a broad range of topics and deliver a satirical blow to any and all presumed taboos.
(Bayern 2 03/05/17) +

“On their new album ‘High Words’ the notorious klezmer punks take another swipe at a broad range of topics and deliver a satirical blow to any and all presumed taboos. This includes mercilessly self-pitying Yiddish songs dealing with old age (‘Alte Kacker’), anti-love songs such as ‘Pupik’ or title track ‘High Words’, detailing a righteous fury towards the establishment in the age of Global Warming, that is currently making a return to the demagoguery of the former World War era.”
Tobias Ruhland, BR.de, Bayern 2 (Bavarian radio), May 3, 2017

To try and pigeonhole them would be ridiculous.
(Musikexpress 01/05/17) +

“Album number two by the Israeli Balkan/Klezmer/Punk band once again lays proof to the fact that trying to pigeonhole them would be ridiculous… They manage to turn their fragmented identity in a unique pop statement, while masterfully riding diverse genres as they do languages, dialects and topics.”
4,5 / 5 stars, Thomas Winkler, Musikexpress, 05/2017

Here you have a bunch of creative individualists making completely unorthodox music.
(konkret 01/05/17) +

“Here you have a bunch of creative individualists, two of whom met in the Frankfurt synagogue’s boys’ choir in the ’70s, making completely unorthodox music. And even though their musical blend of punk, jazz, rock, Balkan beats and klezmer is suitable for the masses, their provocative lyrics, a mix of English, Yiddish, Hebrew and German, are filled with (self-)irony and address a more particular kind of listener. Their songs are hardly the material most Yiddish-speakers, seculars or the ultra-Orthodox would relate to. This in part is also due to the fact that their Yiddish is not authentic, but rather a stylistic device to transport folklore and Jewish tradition.”
– konkret Magazin (Monthly publication), 05/2017

The Jewish Monkeys are never malevolent, as they wrap their pungent lyrics in a fine blend of vintage cabaret, folk punk rock and anarchic speed klezmer
(Westzeit 01/05/17) +

“And they are still as audacious as ever: politicians, women, compatriots, no one is spared. Much less the gentiles. That being said, the Jewish Monkeys are never malevolent, as they wrap their pungent lyrics (‘I Wonder’) in a fine blend of vintage cabaret, folk punk rock and anarchic speed klezmer.”
– Karsten Zimalla, Westzeit magazine, 05/2017

Their uptempo songs are forceful and dirty, basking in the glow of their corny ballads.
(Deutschlandfunk Corso 22/04/17) +

“Klezmer, punk rock, Balkan sounds: The Jewish Monkeys deliver another great album alias ‘High Words’. Their essence is not actually political, but they do love satire. Anything that crosses their path is ridiculed. Their uptempo songs are forceful and dirty, basking in the glow of their corny ballads. Once on stage they include bouts of improvisation on guitar or trombone. Music you can really dance to.”
DLF Corso (National German Radio), April 22, 2017

If this is what the proverbial post-midlife dance sounds like, then I do not want to be one bit younger.
(Plärrer Stadtmagazin Augsburg 01/04/17) +

“If the Jewish Monkeys’ beat is what the proverbial post-midlife dance sounds like, then I do not want to be one bit younger.”
Plärrer, Augsburg (Local monthly magazine), April 2017

When played live, this vibrant mix releases an energy akin to a punk rock show
(OX 01/04/17) +

“Musically the Israelis blend ska, pop, klezmer and Balkan sounds. When played live, this vibrant mix releases an energy reminiscent of a punk rock show.”
– OX Magazin Nr. 131 (Hardcore fanzine), 04/05/2017

A wildly danceable mix of klezmer, punk and circus music, paired with uninhibited satirical lyrics.
(taz, Die Tageszeitung 11/03/17) +

“A wildly danceable mix of klezmer, punk and circus music, paired with uninhibited satirical lyrics.”
taz, Die Tageszeitung (German daily), March 11, 2017

Great. Stunning. A unanimous exaltation.
(Darmstädter Echo 10/03/17) +

“Loud, snotty, blunt: these musicians want to provoke. Jewish Monkeys concerts are fun  and never cease to entertain, baffle or even confuse audiences… Great. Stunning. A unanimous exaltation.”
– Darmstädter Echo (Local daily), March 10, 2017

Such is the group’s nonconformity that dictates their every move, starting with their choice of music.
(musikansich.de 09/03/17) +

“That the Jewish Monkeys are not ones to stick to the many conventions of the music business is no longer news to the well-informed. Such is the group’s nonconformity that dictates their every move, starting with their choice of music: Their self-determined brand of klezmer punk will meet any three-chord aficionado’s expectations, but equally cause nervous palpitations among klezmer lovers. Punk in this regard is the band’s said nonconformity, though paired with a hunger for the most diverse musical surprises, feeding on multiple styles, take Balkan elements for instance… That being said, their entire setlist comprises just three songs in a major key, the rest is minor. But their innate ability to turn that into a cheerful live event lays further proof to the fact that this is not your ordinary band, making them all the more valuable. If you get a chance, go see them!”
Roland Ludwig, musikansich.de, March 9, 2017

Their autonomous mix of klezmer, punk, rock, Balkan music and pop is nothing less than an extraordinary circus act.
(Märkische Allgemeine Zeitung 08/03/17) +

“Merry, socio-critical, cutting, highly frivolous and politically incorrect are ways you may choose to describe their songs. Oh and filled with innuendos. As the accordion squeezes out Europe’s final countdown, revealing hidden quotes from the Beatles, their melodies stir up memories. This wild bunch from Tel Aviv, comprising eight musicians in all, sings in Yiddish and English. Eight men and just as many musical influences. At least. Their autonomous mix of klezmer, punk, rock, Balkan music and pop is nothing less than an extraordinary circus act.”
– Märkische Allgemeine Zeitung, March 8, 2017

From the Frankfurt boys' choir to Israel and back: Their music is thrilling as ever.
(Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung 05/03/17) +

“From the Frankfurt boys’ choir to Israel and back: The Jewish Monkeys continue to baffle German audiences with their cheerfully frivolous brand of klezmer punk. Following a change in lineup, the still eight-man combo delivers another stellar album with High Words. Once again, the band digs deep into the profound Jewish tradition. Take ‘Titina’ for instance, a modern-day reinterpretation of the 1917 original, later used by Charlie Chaplin in his iconic film ‘Modern Times’. While ‘Romania’ pays homage to and equally mocks the glorification of Eastern European folklore, tracks such as ‘Post Midlife Dance’ or ‘Alte Kacker’ are gloriously self-deprecating. Their music is thrilling as ever.”
Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (biggest German Sunday paper), March 5, 2017

Anarchists like the Marx Brothers the Jewish Monkeys are anything but kosher.
(Journal Frankfurt 01/03/17) +

“Tel Aviv’s impious rock & rollers see themselves as ‘Darwin’s final dillusion, the Jewish missing link of evolution’. Anarchists like the Marx Brothers they are anything but kosher. And although their two frontmen Jossi Reich and Roni Boiko originally met as choir boys in Frankfurt’s Westend synagogue, they were always more drawn to disco. The politically incorrect Jewish Monkeys are more than your ordinary klezmer punks.”
– Journal Frankfurt (Local magazine), 03/2017

No time to get all sentimental.
(AUDIO 31/03/16) +

“On ‘Mania Regressia’ the Jewish Monkeys demand listeners leave their sentiments at the door. The Tel Aviv trash combo employs an aggressive mix of cabaret, circus marches, Frank Zappa-ish horseplay and klezmer punk to shock its audiences, Jews and non-Jews alike.” – AUDIO, 04/2016

Building a Cultural Bridge between Tel Aviv and Dresden – An official statement
(Greedy for Best Music 21/01/16) +

“The concerts were a wonderful experience for the band. It was very moving to see how this ‘guerrilla event’ could magically transform the faces of these tired, fearful, uprooted and traumatised people. Young men danced the Dabke (a popular line dance in Syria) to old Yiddish songs and beaming children experienced their first rock concert. After the show they stormed the stage to touch the drums and guitars in awe. Careful at first, the band did not let the public know they were from Tel Aviv, however, some of the band members delighted their listeners with Arabic greetings and phrases of gratitude. During conversations with the public, when asked, ‘where do you come from?’, one of the band members, said: ‘Tel Aviv’. This answer did not cause animosity, but joy and surprise.”

– Greedy for Best Music

Hard times for a band specializing in klezmer-rock. A tour diary
(Die Welt 24/11/15) +

“Cooped up in a minivan, though way more comfortable than being in one of those cattle wagons from back in the days heading East, we embark towards our next destination, a street festival in Dresden. Upon arrival we face a small stage blaring Arab rap music for a bunch of belligerent looking adolescents, jumping up and down and waving their fists in the air. Then it’s our turn. We step on stage, Boiko and I share an awkward smile with the crowd, while Gael refreshes his Arabic. It all goes down as expected: They absolutely love us, singing along to our Yiddish ‘dai, dai, dais’ and dancing Dabke as if at an oriental wedding. It was delirious.”

– Jossi Reich, Die WELT (German daily)

In the end, entertainment wins.
(Badische Neueste Nachrichten 16/09/14) +

They pulled all the stops at their gig, engaging head and heart alike. They get people on their feet with familiar Balkan folk sounds and get them listening with complex rock arrangements and melancholic laments. How to describe Jewish Monkeys? A political band? Pure entertainment? Both? In the end, entertainment wins. The room is owned by ecstatic dancers.

– Badische Neueste Nachrichten

A fantastic live band in the spirit of punk
(Süddeutsche Zeitung 15/09/14) +

Jewish Monkeys pluck the flowers for their bouquet of clichés from a luxuriant garden of neuroses, burgeoning with self-irony, over-indulgent mothers and inferiority complexes. They are provocative, hounding their listeners out of their comfort zones and making them dance. Because this Klezmer ensemble living in the fast lane is first and foremost a fantastic live band in the spirit of punk. The trombone fires hot salvos at the singers while the guitar’s insistent off-beat rhythm pushes the band in the direction of Ska. Their live performance is overwhelming in its furiously unchained attack on tradition. At the anarchistic climax of the evening, Reich, Boiko and Zaidner launch Harry Belafonte’s famous Banana Boat off towards the Middle East, to bring peace to the region at last.

– Süddeutsche Zeitung (one of Germany’s leading dailies)

A Sense of Nonsense: the Anarcho-Klezmer Band Jewish Monkeys!
(Deutschlandfunk Corso 10/09/14) +

A Sense of Nonsense: the Anarcho-Klezmer Band Jewish Monkeys!

– Deutschlandfunk Corso (national German radio)

Shades of cinematic heroes such as Woody Allen
(Franfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 05/09/14) +

They ridicule the obscenities of international relations with the same tongue-in-cheek attitude they adopt toward their own culture, with a healthy mix of sophistication and anarchy. Shades of cinematic heroes such as Woody Allen, with an added dose of high-calibre party mood.

– Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany’s leading daily)

Mildly disturbed eternal adolescents
(Spiegel Online 05/09/14) +

The Jewish Monkeys‘ album Mania Regressia plays on Jewish clichés and anti-Semitic reality. This post-Klezmer, post-Pop, post-Alija band from Tel Aviv has created an album brimming with love, rage and joy that reveals just how they are themselves: mildly disturbed eternal adolescents with a soundtrack for the panic attacks of our time. All of which makes Mania Regressia more than just music to listen to – from old and obscure songs with new geopolitical fire, such as Caravan Petrol or the satirical hit Johnny is the Goy for Me – and instead a rollicking, joyful, despairing peal of laughter on the margins of the western world.

– Spiegel Online (Germany’s No. 1 political news website)

Spirited, disrespectful, Jewish humour at its finest
(3Sat Kulturzeit 03/09/14) +

Spirited, disrespectful, Jewish humour at its finest. A wild, cult-worthy mix of Klezmer, Balkan and Rock.

– 3Sat Kulturzeit (TV channel for Austria/Switzerland/Germany)

Trashy hits with lyrics that tumble helter-skelter between Yiddish and English
(Kulturnews 01/09/14) +

Their love songs are delightfully filthy, full of unexpected emotions and virtuoso hilarity. Jewish Monkeys wallow in trashy hits with lyrics that tumble helter-skelter between Yiddish and English. A truly international line-up!

– Kulturnews (Germany’s largest culture mag)

An eagle eye on what is happening in the here and now
(Deutschlandfunk 29/08/14) +

They really do have some political cheek – highly critical, with an eagle eye on what is happening in the here and now. They make music that cuts to the quick, and that’s what I find so exciting: really good, thought-provoking lyrics. 

– Martin Kranz, Director of the Jewish Cultural Days, Berlin

If Hitler hadn’t nearly won the war
(Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung 06/07/14) +

If Hitler hadn’t nearly won the war, Jewish music would sound like this: naturally stoned, fast, and madly melancholic.

– Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (biggest German Sunday paper)

Racing polka beats, calypso, rumba and gutter blues redolent of Tom Waits
(Nürnberger Nachrichten 18/03/14) +

The incredible Jewish Monkeys from Israel epitomise the inexhaustible experimental drive of Jewish music. Jewish Monkeys manage, seemingly effortlessly, to transpose Yiddish songs into an impressive alternative World pop context worthy of any indie rock festival. Racing polka beats, calypso, rumba and gutter blues redolent of Tom Waits, with a dash of trombone, accordion and a distinctive guitar twang give the three singers plenty of dynamic impetus to launch their wackily irreverent, witty songs. Energetic fun that fires up the audience to fever pitch.

– Nürnberger Nachrichten (biggest Bavarian daily)

Roof-raising, rambunctious rock
(Nordbayerische Zeitung 17/03/14) +

Roof-raising, rambunctious rock by the Jewish Monkeys – three singers at once, like animators moderating between pop and funk, with a smattering of traditional songs.

– Nordbayerische Zeitung (Bavarian local daily)

A satirical emancipatory coup
(Fürther Nachrichten 17/03/14) +

The Jewish Monkeys from Tel Aviv unleash a satirical emancipatory coup at the Kulturforum with a show verging on cabaret. Tapping into the tonal syntax of the present day, klezmer strikes on a contemporary note. And the audience spontaneously goes along with it, as evidenced by their enthusiastic participation.

– Fürther Nachrichten (Bavarian local daily)

Whatever people say they are, that's what they're not
(Haaretz 07/01/14) +

At an age when most people retire, these guys are releasing their debut album – in English, Spanish, Esperanto and Yiddish. […] When three middle-aged men perform with wild abandon on stage, it’s clear to anyone watching that they have to conduct a restrained family life for the rest of the year. This is not a supergroup composed of rock stars who first came to prominence in the 1970s, nor is it a choir project of the neighborhood community center. Despite the men’s ages, the Jewish Monkeys (are) a young band at heart, whose members prove that you’re never too old to start performing.

– Ha’aretz (Israeli daily)

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Feverish

Shantel Reworks The Jewish Monkeys' "Fever"
Greedy
 

Shantel and Jewish Monkeys' frontman Josef Reich go way back. It may or may not come as a surprise then, that Shantel took matters into his own to hands to deliver a feverish remix of the band's single "Fever" off [...]

Shantel and Jewish Monkeys' frontman Josef Reich go way back. It may or may not come as a surprise then, that Shantel took matters into his own to hands to deliver a feverish remix of the band's single "Fever" off their latest album "High Words", just days before the Jewish Monkeys return the love and open for Shantel at four shows in Austria and Germany, starting this week. Check below for all four dates. 

In any case, and because we want to share a bit of the story behind, Shantel and Jossi's friendship dates back to the mid-80s, which the two spent growing up in Frankfurt and visiting some of the most popular hedonist hotspots of the time, be it Batschkapp or Eckstein or somewhere else. In 1987, Shantel founded the legendary underground club Lissania Essay, while Jossi and his entourage were among the regulars; an urban legend in the making. 

Fast forward to Tel Aviv in 1997, Shantel's home away from home and the place where their paths crossed again. Tel Aviv's melting pot of sounds became Shantel's testing grounds and Jossi? Well, Jossi most definitely shared Shantel's passion for trans-European pop culture, traditional influences and electronic experiments to be found in the city's vibrant scene. Eventually, Shantel signed Jossi and his Jewish Monkeys to his Essay Recordings label, along with Quentin Tarantino's beloved Boom Pam and Balkan Beat Box. 

"We go way back," says Jossi. "We first met in Frankfurt, then reunited in Tel Aviv. Shantel's love for Balkan and Klezmer music is really where we connect artistically. I was deeply impressed by his profound knowledge of Yiddish songs and their heritage. We probably wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him. His songs and mixes always lead to ecstasy and crazy dancing. A good concert to us is one that ends like his do," Jossi adds.

Now, 12 years later, Shantel and Jossi reunite for a 'third' time with the prior's official remix of the Jewish Monkeys' "Fever". "The idea to do the Fever remix was driven by my desire to lend the Jewish Monkeys an electronic outfit. The beat is quite minimalistic and feeds off of various genres: It's like Romanian dancehall meets hypnotic brass licks and vocal acrobatics. I even added some Romani lyrics of my own as we conjure cosmopolitan hedonism and breathe new life into Central European party culture," Shantel explains. 

As for his interest in Yiddish sounds: "The West often mistakes Jewish music for nostalgic, whiney Klezmer music. But we forget that pop musically relevant styles such as punk rock, new wave or indie had their beginnings in the Jewish emigrant circles of New York, London or Paris. This is also the tradition the Jewish Monkeys and their frivolously cynical brand of humor pay tribute to, a tip of the hat to their punk great-grandfathers from the early 20th century cabarets and speakeasies. Had the Marx Brothers ever taken to punk rock, it would sound like the Jewish Monkeys," Shantel concludes.

Listen to the Shantel remix of "Fever" via the SoundCloud player above or watch the Leo Liberman-directed companion music video below, the first-ever professional Snapchat clip shot solely on cell phone. 

Upcoming Jewish Monkeys Tour Support for Shantel:
December 14th A-Vienna @ WUK
December 15th A-Innsbruck @ Treibhaus
December 16th D-Munich @ Muffathalle
December 17th D-Frankfurt @ Batschkapp

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Disko Monkeys

The Jewish Monkeys To Support Shantel At Four Shows In Austria & Germany
Greedy

Frankfurt's one and only 'disko partizani Shantel is currently touring Europe with his famed Bucovina Club Orkestar to celebrate "Shantology - 30 Years of Club Guerilla". 

Supporting him at the last four upcoming [...]

Frankfurt's one and only 'disko partizani Shantel is currently touring Europe with his famed Bucovina Club Orkestar to celebrate "Shantology - 30 Years of Club Guerilla". 

Supporting him at the last four upcoming shows in Austria and Germany are non other than our very own Jewish Monkeys:

December 14, (AT) Vienna, WUK
December 15, (AT) Innsbruck, Treibhaus
December 16, (D) Munich, Muffathalle
December 17, (D) Frankfurt, Batschkapp

It's a family affair!

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Can You Name Them All?

A Short Animated Introduction To The Jewish Monkeys Ahead Of Their Fall Tour
Greedy

Just ahead of their upcoming tour of Germany, the Jewish Monkeys decided to drop a short, animated teaser video, introducing the band's individual creative geniuses. 

We were trying to win over the legendary Michael [...]

Just ahead of their upcoming tour of Germany, the Jewish Monkeys decided to drop a short, animated teaser video, introducing the band's individual creative geniuses. 

We were trying to win over the legendary Michael Buffer to voice these ringside announcements of the eight Jewish Monkeys. Due to monetary concerns however, we let main man Jossi Reich do the honours and introduce his band of merry men one by one. 

Check the video below and to see if you can name them all. And now, ladies and gentlemen, let's get ready to ruuummmbbbllleee! Find an up-to-date list of all upcoming Jewish Monkeys shows here and be sure to lend an ear to their "High Words".

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What's This Fall About?!

The Jewish Monkeys Announce New Live Dates For September/October
Greedy

Yes, dear friends. Playing the World Music Stage at Sziget Festival two weeks ago was an absolute blast. Take this Facebook video for instance of the Jewish Monkeys engaging their crowd in some intense physical [...]

Yes, dear friends. Playing the World Music Stage at Sziget Festival two weeks ago was an absolute blast. Take this Facebook video for instance of the Jewish Monkeys engaging their crowd in some intense physical activity. Talk about authority. 

In any case the band has just announced new Germany shows coming up in late September, early October. The Jewish Monkeys will be playing a string of shows in Wiesbaden, Konstanz, Mannheim, Viechtach, Frankfurt (am Main) and Reutlingen. So get your tuches over there. 

Find a list of all Jewish Monkeys shows here. And don't forget to bring your dancing shoes. Their current album "High Words" is available from Bandcamp.

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more

Ekombe

Congo's Jupiter & Okwess Unleash A 'Furious Invitation To Dance'

This one has been a long time coming and by that we mean us featuring the amazing Jupiter & Okwess from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Now in his mid-50s, frontman Jean-Pierre Bokondji, aka Jupiter, has led his [...]

This one has been a long time coming and by that we mean us featuring the amazing Jupiter & Okwess from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Now in his mid-50s, frontman Jean-Pierre Bokondji, aka Jupiter, has led his group to international acclaim, but arguably remains somewhat of an unsung hero. 

Born in Kinshasa in 1963 (three years after Congo gained its independence from Belgium), Jupiter spent his formative years living in the Tanzanian Dar-es-Salam as well as in East Berlin, where his father was an attaché to the Congolese embassy. Returning to Congo at the age of 17, he "discovered the ultra-dominant Congolese rumba style, but also a multitude of other rhythms and styles that vegetate in the shadows of rumba, all strangely reminiscent of funk, soul and rock" and began to pursue a future in music, much to his father's dismay. And so, Bokondji left his family home and began living on the streets, where he claimed his nickname 'Jupiter'. 

Fast forward to 2017, when Jupiter and his band Okwess (formerly Famous Black, then Bongo Folk), which means 'food' in the Kibunda language, released their versatile sophomore album on Glitterbeat Records, aided by the likes of Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz) on keyboard, Warren Ellis (Nick Cave's Bad Seeds) on violin and Massive Attack's Roberto del Naja, aka  '3D', who contributed the album's stunning artwork: "'Kin Sonic' finds its voice in the exploration of a heritage that has remained totally hidden until now, and comes to take its place in a contemporary landscape where walls and borders are exploding in the face of men’s yearning to share moments of beauty and pure madness, all mixed up together."

Last Friday, the group released the brand new music video to their album track "Ekombe", "a furious invitation to dance" (The Guardian), which you can watch below. 

Accompanying the ever so charismatic Jupiter are Montana (of Staff Benda Bilili) on drums and Yendé on bass, guitarists Eric and Richard and the singer Blaise. Click here to stream "Kin Sonic" in full.

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Bel Biguine

Listen To A Brilliant Mix Of Caribbean Finds Via Les Mains Noires

Working out of Paris, Les Mains Noires are a versatile, multi-faceted collective of like-minded "music and image lovers" that run their own blog, which serves as a treasure trove for far away sounds.

Digging deeper [...]

Working out of Paris, Les Mains Noires are a versatile, multi-faceted collective of like-minded "music and image lovers" that run their own blog, which serves as a treasure trove for far away sounds.

Digging deeper and deeper into early Caribbean recordings and back from a recent trip to the island of Guadeloupe in the French West Indies, My Old Friend Fred Martin put together a mix of 13 amazing finds (tracklist below), combining "the very best of the 'Bel Biguine* / Dirty Jazz' style".

This brilliant selection can be heard via Mixcloud and is sure cast its spell on you. 

*Biguine is a rhythm-centric style of music that originated in Guadeloupe and Martinique in the 19th century.

Tracklist: "CÔCÔLÔ - Bel-Biguine selected by My Friend Fred Martin"
01° ORCHESTRE COMBO ZOMBI // Mussieu a têt'a poisson la
02° GENTILLE & Orch P.E HALIAR // Bel Biguine
03° FRANK NOEL et son ensemble Lotus Jazz w/ Raphael Zachille // Mam’zelle A Present
04° HENRI DEBS Quartet & PAUL BLAMAR // Côcôlô
05° DOLOR // Assez Mal Palé Moin
06° ELEUTHER // Chaque Fois
07° REMY MONDEY // Faut ou ou trop presse
08° J. CALODA // Femm' a conmece
09° RAPHAEL ZACHILLE // I faut jouer biguine la
10° EMILE VOLEL // Maxel's Compas
11° DOLOR et ses Étoiles // Lé moin té Minê
12° DANIEL FORESTAL // Les Coupeurs de Cannes
13° MAHY & orchestre Mariepin // Aline

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Fédia Laguerre

Antangana Records Reissues The Haitian Singer’s Acclaimed Single “Divizion”

Founded this year by DJ/producer, percussionist and avid record collector Déni Shain (Space Echo, Pop Makossa), Marseille-based Atangana Records is set to drop its eagerly awaited first release on May 4th. [...]

Founded this year by DJ/producer, percussionist and avid record collector Déni Shain (Space Echo, Pop Makossa), Marseille-based Atangana Records is set to drop its eagerly awaited first release on May 4th. Originally issued in 1981 the label's premier 12" features the acclaimed single "Divizion" by Haitian singer Fédia Laguerre along with a remix by French afro-disco collective Voilaaa as well as an additional instrumental cut, which recently premiered on The Ransom Note (listen here).  

Atangana Records is result of almost two decades of musical exploration from Europe (Germany, France, Portugal) to West Africa (Guinea, Burkina Faso), Brazil and Mexico by the self-proclaimed "tropicalist globetrotter" Déni Shain, who now teams up with his partner Thomas Vicente to "to dig, reproduce & transmit cross-cultural music, usually unreachable and/or less known by the public"

And Fédia Laguerre's "Divizion" (available via Bandcamp) is just the right record to get things rolling. Listen to the original below and mark May 4th in your calendars.

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Ebo Taylor

Listen To The Ghanaian Legend's Latest LP & The Accompanying Chris Read Tribute Mix
 

Ghanaian legend Ebo Taylor has been in the music business for over 60 years and just released a brand new longplayer entitled "Yen Ara" on the London-based Mr Bongo imprint: "Listen to Yen Ara and you will not only [...]

Ghanaian legend Ebo Taylor has been in the music business for over 60 years and just released a brand new longplayer entitled "Yen Ara" on the London-based Mr Bongo imprint: "Listen to Yen Ara and you will not only hear the high-energy afrobeat, sweet highlife, jazz and konkoma influences that he’s famous for. There is also a disco pulse and hard-hitting percussive edge to the tracks, which were produced by Justin Adams (Tinariwen, Rachid Taha, Robert Plant)."

The 82-year-old veteran composer, arranger, guitarist and vocalist has played a key role in the steadily evolving afrofunk and highlife scene since the late 1950s, collaborating with the likes of Fela Kuti, the Apagya Show Band, C.K. Mann or Pat Thomas and leading his Ghana Black Star Band as well as the Uhuru Dance Band to deserved acclaim.

Hot on the heels of his newest release, which he himself describes as 'perhaps his finest to date', UK producer and DJ Chris Read (who has a host of ace jazz and hiphop 'Best Of' mixes to his name) was granted the honour of readying a mixtape of Ebo Taylor classics by Mr Bongo in collaboration with OkayAfrica. And the result is beautiful. Listen to the 40-minute mix on Mixcloud (tracklist below) and also be sure to stream "Yen Ara" in full via the SoundCloud player above.

Ebo Taylor will be touring Europe starting in May 2018.

Mr Bongo x OkayAfrica Guest Mix: Ebo Taylor mixed by Chris Read // TRACKLIST
1. Ghetto Concept - Certifed (Instrumental) [Samples Ebo Taylor - Come Along]
2. Chris Read - Theme #1 (Scratchapella)
3. My Love and Music
4. Maye Omama
5. Gyae Su Na Nkomo
6. Bra
7. Enye Nyame Niko
8. Will You Promise
9. Aba Yaa
10. Efi Na Matase
11. Ankoma'm
12. Ohye Atar Gyan
13. Come Along
14. No Condition is Permanent
15. Egya Edu
16. Victory
17. Atwer Abroba
18. What Is Life
19. Peace on Earth
20. Mind Your Own Business
21. Mumudey Mumudey
22. Break Through

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Bulgar Gaydas

Istanbul's Virtuoso Clarinetist Cüneyt Sepetçi Releases Piping Hot New Album
 

Upon listening to the piping hot sounds of Istanbul's Cüneyt Sepetçi, you may very well find yourself at a loss for words. As the virtuosic clarinetist delivers a mesmerising trip into modern Turkish wedding and [...]

Upon listening to the piping hot sounds of Istanbul's Cüneyt Sepetçi, you may very well find yourself at a loss for words. As the virtuosic clarinetist delivers a mesmerising trip into modern Turkish wedding and (circumcision) party music, words indeed, seem highly unnecessary. This is a celebratory music made for dancing, rooted deeply in Turkish and the surrounding regions' culture, "which each generation innovates and develops". Released at the tail end of 2017 via the Albuquerque, New Mexico-based Living Music Duplication imprint, Sepetçi's second album "Bulgar Gaydas" (Bulgarian (Bag)pipes) takes these traditional melodies and banging time signatures to new heights:

"Sepetçi uses the bedrock of Volkan Sever’s synth insanity as a jumping off point for some truly crazy solos. His fluttering sheets of notes tie knots around the pulsating, fried synthesizer. For this recording session, Sepetçi brought in two drummers, Fatih Özden (tapan) and Samet Sertol (darabouka), to play along with the Turkish drum machine. A dense nest of rhythmic complexity is the result. And to further connect to this music’s rich past, the ancient double reed zurna of Ahmet Özden and Yaşar Uçar’s European violin weave ancient melodies and incredible solos throughout, [accompanied by Vahdet Ustaoğlu'on kanun]." 

What we have here then, are some of Istanbul's prime instrumentalists on one record, doing what they do best. All of the songs were recorded live as first takes, as Sepetçi leads his fellow musicians through the intricate and infectious arrangements. Also, rumour has it, that a first European tour is currently in the making for fall 2018. We will keep you posted. Until then, you can stream/buy the album via Bandcamp or listen to his live performance with Orchestra Dolapdere at the 2014 Roskilde festival (recorded by The Lake Radio) via the SoundCloud player above.

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Mushapata

Akuphone Pays Tribute To Legendary Afropean Boxer And Parisian Underground Musician
 

What would seem like somewhat of a contradiction, a champion boxer fighting for peace, is essentially the story of Mushapata. Hailing from the city of Bukavu, located in the Democratic Republic of Congo at the [...]

What would seem like somewhat of a contradiction, a champion boxer fighting for peace, is essentially the story of Mushapata. Hailing from the city of Bukavu, located in the Democratic Republic of Congo at the border with Burundi, Mushapata Kabangu emigrated to France in the late '70s to pursue a career as a professional boxer. However, confronted with the realities of the sports industry, he eventually became a personal protection agent. As such he escorted many celebrities, including the legendary Bob Marley during the latter's tour of France in 1980. 

This encounter proved to be highly inspirational as it led Mushapata to embark on his own musical path and, backed by his band Saba-Saba Fighting, to continue his lifelong struggle for peace through music: "Ignored by the record labels of the time, his first self-produced recordings reveal a rough mix of lo-fi reggae, afrobeat rhythms accompanied by a brass section close to free jazz. The nonchalant sounding voices of Mushapata and Tshayi complete this explosive cocktail and carry, in Swahili language, the Pan-African ideas of Lumumba and other great figures of African-American struggles." 

Now considered a legend of the Parisian African reggae underground scene in his own right, French independent label Akuphone just released a limited edition mini-compilation tribute to Mushapata, featuring four tracks off of his first two albums dating back to 1980 and 1984 respectively. You can stream the entire release on the imprint's Bandcamp page or listen to "Muanago Yé-Yé" and "Zambe Aponiyo" via the SoundCloud player above. Don't sleep on this!

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Ambassador Osayomore Joseph

A Tribute Mix To The "Fela Kuti of Benin"

Fresh off the holiday weekend, we would like to share with you this upbeat musical homage to the great Ambassador Osayomore Joseph, by the London-based MogaDisco crew, a passionate collective curating the African [...]

Fresh off the holiday weekend, we would like to share with you this upbeat musical homage to the great Ambassador Osayomore Joseph, by the London-based MogaDisco crew, a passionate collective curating the African continent's "finest sounds". Recently released as The Vinyl Factory's mix #129, the 50-minute selection pays tribute to an extraordinary personality and formidable musician, who has been likened to "the Fela Kuti of Benin".

Hailing from Benin City, capital of the Edo State in southern Nigeria, Osayomore Joseph has been active in music for nearly half a century. "Like Fela, he too was imprisoned for speaking out against the government in his music." Late last year, shortly after performing at the one-year coronation anniversary of the Oba of Benin, Osayomore was abducted at gunpoint. After spending more than a month in captivity, he was freed in exchange for ransom.

"The kidnappers called themselves forest soldiers. Those who came to kidnap me did not know me. It was when I got to the creek that some learned ones started singing my old songs. They did not know that I started fighting before they were born," Osayomore recalls.

Listen to the full tribute mix on Mixcloud (tracklist below). We also came up with a full live show, which has Osayomore on flute and vocals, entertaining as only he can. We're happy he's back.

VF Mix 129
1. My Name Is Money
2. Owa
3. Oyeye
4. Egua Oba
4. Soja Go Soja Come
5. Omongle
6. Alele
7. Teacher

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Nubia Nova

Ozferti Breathes Futuristic New Life Into East African Musical Traditions
 

We here at Greedy are always eager to explore new musical realms and ask ourselves: "What have we here?". And that is exactly the question we had in mind, when we chanced upon the French [...]

We here at Greedy are always eager to explore new musical realms and ask ourselves: "What have we here?". And that is exactly the question we had in mind, when we chanced upon the French beatmaker/multi-instrumentalist/electronic producer and illustrator Florian Doucet, who goes by the name of Ozferti. Now living in the Belgium capital of Brussels Ozferti has come to our attention by creating an alternative musical dimension, entirely his own. 

Having paved the way in 2016 with his debut album "Addis Aboumbap" in the spirit of Ethiojazz, featuring an intriguing sample-ridden blend of "traditional Ethiopian music with rap, psychedelic stairs, progressive dub and electronics", he followed that up with two Afrogrime EPs, aka "This is Afrogrime Vol.1" and "This is Afrogrime Vol. 2", ably mashing up UK Grime staples the likes of Dizzee Rascal, Wiley or Skepta with afro-beats or so-called "tribal patterns of African spirits"

All released via his own online label NUBIA NOVA records, his latest five-track EP release is sure to turn some heads. "The Call" is Ozferti beckoning us to enter his self-created NUBIA NOVA universe (watch the animated companion video here); a driving sonic odyssey of hypnotic chants, Ethiopian melodies and futuristic grooves, exploring the sounds of East Africa and beyond.

Or as Ozferti puts it: "Miles away from earth, in an alien place, where the sun embraces the sand, where old spirits meet electronic machines, where desert tribes meet futuristic cities and unknown species, there’s NUBIA NOVA, the purple planet."

Listen to his recently released free-download Nubian bass track "Ta Na Da Na Ta Na Da" in the SoundCloud player above and check out his mystical live performance of "Aturiye" below.

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Mambo Cósmico

Mexico City's Sonido Gallo Negro Are Simply On Another Level
 

Hold on tight, as Mexico City's 'loco' nine-piece instrumental combo Sonido Gallo Negro (Black Rooster Sound) is about drop its third album via the trusted Glitterbeat Records on April 6th. And, as the title [...]

Hold on tight, as Mexico City's 'loco' nine-piece instrumental combo Sonido Gallo Negro (Black Rooster Sound) is about drop its third album via the trusted Glitterbeat Records on April 6th. And, as the title suggests, it promises to be one heck of a trip.

Following up on their enticing 2011 debut "Cumbia Salvaje" (Savage Cumbia) and its equally mind-bending 2014 successor "Sendero Místico" (Mystical Path), the group's "exhilarating third album continues their exploration into the psychedelic richness and rhythmic pulse of Peruvian cumbia while at the same reaching for new sounds and textures – such as mambo, cha cha, porro and danzon".

Of the eleven tracks on the forthcoming "Mambo Cósmico", nine are originals, while the other two (namely "Tolú" by Lucho Bermúdez and "¿Quién será?" by Pablo Beltrán Ruiz) are cover versions. Watch them perform "Tolú" live in front of a passionate crowd at last year's WOMEX expo via WDR Cosmo (video only available until November 2018).

Sonido Gallo Negro's unique palette of sounds is clearly Latin, yet so much more. You may be tempted to call their "sonic collage" ritualistic, but that would be to ignore their wide-eyed mix-and-match approach to a far vaster musical cosmos. Not to mention their undeniable live presence, where they bring their "very impressive propositions"  to life. 

We can't wait to hear "Mambo Cósmico" in full. So until then, we leave you with "Cumbia Ishtar" in the visualizer below, the album's title track in the SoundCloud player above, as well as the Instant Grat track "Mambo Egipcio", which you can stream via Bandcamp.

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Na-You

Hot Casa Records Release Four Super Funky Tracks By Obscure Artist From The Ivory Coast

Always good for a rare dig are Paris-based Hot Casa Records, an imprint specialising in dusty afro soul and tropical funk and run by DJ Julien Lebrun alongside Djamel Hammadi (aka Afrobrazilero). 

Their latest find [...]

Always good for a rare dig are Paris-based Hot Casa Records, an imprint specialising in dusty afro soul and tropical funk and run by DJ Julien Lebrun alongside Djamel Hammadi (aka Afrobrazilero). 

Their latest find is an obscure artist from the Ivory Coast by the name of Deke Tom Dollard, who went on to record a total of four albums between 1979 and the early 1980ies. Two of these records, recorded in Abidjan and released on two different labels (War Records & As Records), were recently rediscovered by Afrobrazilero. However, he had a hard time finding out anything about the singer or the musicians involved. Even the original labels had pretty much lost all trace. 

Hot Casa nevertheless managed to license a selection of four amazing tracks, marked by "heavy basslines, traditional percussion, funky guitar riffs, nice horn sections and lyrics in Bété language. The song 'Demonde' is actually inspired by the harmonies to Herman Kelly's infamous 'Dance To The Drummer's Beat' from 1978" (listen below). Needless to say, these tracks will have afro funk lovers' hearts skip a beat, or two. Tune in on Bandcamp to stream Deke Tom Dollard's "Na-You" in full. 

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African Techno

Ghana's DJ Katapila To Drop Blazing New EP Via Awesome Tapes From Africa
 

Hailing from the Ghanaian capital of Accra is the one and only DJ Katapila, aka Ishmael Abbey, who was first brought to our attention by the always reliable Awesome Tapes From Africa, when the label reissued his now [...]

Hailing from the Ghanaian capital of Accra is the one and only DJ Katapila, aka Ishmael Abbey, who was first brought to our attention by the always reliable Awesome Tapes From Africa, when the label reissued his now internationally acclaimed debut album "Trotro" in 2016. The record went on to feature in renowned publications the likes of The New York Times, Pitchfork, Resident Advisor and FACT magazine among others, which ultimately launched Katapila's touring career, where he "brought Ghana’s street party culture to audiences overseas [and left] a wave of joy and happy dancers in his wake".

Upon first hearing his tracks, one could be tempted to decry them as simple, devoid of depth or sophistication. But don't be fooled. DJ Katapila's straight-forward, fast-paced and unpretentious catalog is marked by an honesty and originality that have made him "a growing and singular voice in West African music". As such, he continued to expand and work on his "minimalist electronic productions" while on tour in Europe and the UK and is now set to release his latest EP this Friday, March 23rd via AFTA. 

DJ Katapila's forthcoming "Aroo EP" is comprised of four tracks that are "steeped in his hometown rhythms" as much as they are inspired by his experiences abroad. "African Techno", for instance, which can already be streamed in the SoundCloud player above, draws from the contemporary sounds of London: “In Europe and the UK they like these techno songs and house music. They have songs that sound like African music, and we have songs that sound like house music and techno music,” he explains. That being said, you might also want to check out the blazing companion video to the EP's closer "Monkey" below. DJ Katapila is definitely back and turning heads!

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Down In The Basement

The Mauskovic Dance Band Is In It To Win It

The multi-talented drummer and producer Nicola Mauskovic is at it again. After he most recently resurfaced on our radar as part of the Amsterdam-based Turkish psych-folk outfit Altın Gün, who are set to release [...]

The multi-talented drummer and producer Nicola Mauskovic is at it again. After he most recently resurfaced on our radar as part of the Amsterdam-based Turkish psych-folk outfit Altın Gün, who are set to release their debut album at the end of this month, he now presents the four-track debut EP of The Mauskovic Dance Band, released last Friday on London's Soundway Records.

"Down in the Basement" presents "a potent, modern blend of Afro-Caribbean rhythms and space-disco", featuring "Afro-Colombian styles such as champeta, palenque, cumbia and the picó soundsystem culture [...] integrated with '80s No-Wave drum machines and synths," which in turn results in a unique, culturally diverse and highly combustible combination of dancefloor-targeted goodness. 

The band is made up of Donnie Mauskovic (vocals, keys, effects), Em Nix Mauskovic (guitar, synth, percussion) and Mano Mauskovic (bass), with "fabled underground cumbia producer" Juan Hundred joining the group on drums. So don't be fooled by the name because The Mauskovic Dance Band is in it to win it. Hear for yourselves.

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