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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
shows

Jewish Monkeys / Jewish Monkeys Tour 2017

May 19th
Flawil / Kulturpunkt
May 24th
May 25th
Karlsruhe / Tollhaus
May 26th
Hannover / Cafe Glocksee
May 27th
Hamburg / Kampnagel
Oct 02nd
Tracks

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

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"

Official Videos

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"

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
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)

Related posts

Monkeying Around

Just Ahead Of Album #2 The Jewish Monkeys Get Interviewed by the Jerusalem Post
Greedy

With only a week to go before their highly anticipated sophomore album's official release, the Jewish Monkeys are revving up the promo engine or as The Jerusalem Post called it, Monkeying Around. In a recent [...]

With only a week to go before their highly anticipated sophomore album's official release, the Jewish Monkeys are revving up the promo engine or as The Jerusalem Post called it, Monkeying Around. In a recent interview with Ariel Dominique Hendelman of the leading Israeli English newspaper, Ran Bagno (accordion) and Gael Zaidner (vocals) shared their thoughts on the band, talked about a momentous performance in front of Syrian refugees and hinted at the fact that there already is a third album in the making.

"As a band, we started off with a more Balkan/Klezmer sound. Now it became more high energy, more exciting, more rock, more punk. It’s more of a blend of all of the places we are coming from. The band is a fusion of our stories; an Israeli salad", says Ran Bagno at one point. "I would like to emphasize that our sound is very Middle Eastern", Gael Zaidner points out.  

Asked why it is so important to laugh at taboos, Bagno answers: "I think it’s the only way to deal with them. We can’t preach about things. If you speak about something with humour, it’s much easier to contain it in my opinion. We are a funny band. We have three singers in the front who are all very strong characters. It’s powerful. The audience is dancing and responding. When we see that, we know that something moved them. Some of our songs have very funny lyrics and we see the audience’s reaction to that. We see that they got the point."

Read the full interview here and give the Jewish Monkeys' second album "High Words" a listen while you're at it. Gut Shabbes!

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Fever

The Jewish Monkeys Unveil First Track Off Their Forthcoming Sophomore Album
Greedy
 

Not to say the Jewish Monkeys' latest outing for Berlin Sessions wasn't highly infectious, but this brand new track off the group's forthcoming sophomore album sure has temperatures running high. On "Fever", the [...]

Not to say the Jewish Monkeys' latest outing for Berlin Sessions wasn't highly infectious, but this brand new track off the group's forthcoming sophomore album sure has temperatures running high. On "Fever", the band is anything but bashful, eager to reclaim their rightful spot at the top of the neo-Yiddish palm tree:

We are Jewish Monkeys, we are bandits 
We are the Jewish Monkeys, we are shmendriks 
We are the Jewish Monkeys, we’re demented
We are the Jewish Monkeys, we’re fragmented, 
We are the Jewish Monkeys, we are anxious 
We are the Jewish Monkeys, we are pretentious  
We are Darwin’s final delusion
We are the Jewish missing link of evolution.

Listen to the track in full from the SoundCloud player above and witness the dawn of a newish, Jewish era. By the way, "High Words" (the group's second album) will be releasing on April 28th and it is hot, hot, hot! Lehaim!

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Les Jewish Monkeys

Interview: Quand Le Klezmer Revient A La Mode
Greedy

Here's a little something for all our francophone friends, followers and supporters out there. Recently recorded in Tel Aviv, Jewish Monkeys frontman Gael Zaidner joined television host Valérie Pérez and [...]

Here's a little something for all our francophone friends, followers and supporters out there. Recently recorded in Tel Aviv, Jewish Monkeys frontman Gael Zaidner joined television host Valérie Pérez and journalist Arielle Sibony at i24News to speak about the ongoing Klezmer revival, the role of the Jewish Monkeys in all of this and more.

When asked, where the band gets its inspiration from, be it politics, religion or current events, Gael answered: "I think it's all of above. We're not religious, but we do have feelings for or against religion, or for or against politics. We try to be critical, but the vessel for our criticism is always humour. People tend to defend themselves less against humour than they do against a more violent expression of criticism. [...] We never really discuss politics within the group, but we are well aware that all our actions are political."

Well said. So without further delay, here's the clip in French: Le voici! Also, if you happen to be in Tel Aviv this Tuesday (February 7th), the Jewish Monkeys will be playing a gig at Kuli Alma, including brand new songs from their upcoming album "High Words". Check the event!

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Berlin Sessions

VIDEO: The 'Newish' Jewish Monkeys Perform "Titina" + Announce Upcoming Tour Dates
Greedy

All hail the Jewish Monkeys, who return in living colour to celebrate the upcoming release of their sophomore album "High Words", releasing on April 28th! But for now, we return to one of the group's favourite [...]

All hail the Jewish Monkeys, who return in living colour to celebrate the upcoming release of their sophomore album "High Words", releasing on April 28th! But for now, we return to one of the group's favourite tracks "Titina", which you may remember from here. "Titina" is an infectiously upbeat tune that originally featured in Charlie Chaplin's "Modern Times", but was given a Yiddish makeover by the band, adding a touch of their very own funk and punk to the mix. The song is about a "Chussenbucher", a 50-year-old groom-to-be, who is still looking for his special someone. 

Meanwhile, Berlin film production company Bear Film sent a team to Tel Aviv, in search of famed underground acts to recruit for their Berlin Sessions live music format. There they met with the Jewish Monkeys crew and scheduled a shoot in a somewhat leftfield location, being a junkyard in the middle of nowhere. Needless to say, the band came dressed to impress and literally brought the house down with a energetic rendition of, you guessed it, "Titina", which you can watch below.

On another note, you may have noticed a slight change in lineup, as the charismatic Assaf Pariente steps into the Jewish Monkeys' frontman triptych in place of Ronni Boiko. Assaf will also be joining the band on their upcoming Germany tour this March. You will find all dates in our updated Shows section. And with that, we say thank you and daidaidaidaidaidaidaidaidaiii!

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Monkeying Around

Just Ahead Of Album #2 The Jewish Monkeys Get Interviewed by the Jerusalem Post
Greedy

With only a week to go before their highly anticipated sophomore album's official release, the Jewish Monkeys are revving up the promo engine or as The Jerusalem Post called it, Monkeying Around. In a recent [...]

With only a week to go before their highly anticipated sophomore album's official release, the Jewish Monkeys are revving up the promo engine or as The Jerusalem Post called it, Monkeying Around. In a recent interview with Ariel Dominique Hendelman of the leading Israeli English newspaper, Ran Bagno (accordion) and Gael Zaidner (vocals) shared their thoughts on the band, talked about a momentous performance in front of Syrian refugees and hinted at the fact that there already is a third album in the making.

"As a band, we started off with a more Balkan/Klezmer sound. Now it became more high energy, more exciting, more rock, more punk. It’s more of a blend of all of the places we are coming from. The band is a fusion of our stories; an Israeli salad", says Ran Bagno at one point. "I would like to emphasize that our sound is very Middle Eastern", Gael Zaidner points out.  

Asked why it is so important to laugh at taboos, Bagno answers: "I think it’s the only way to deal with them. We can’t preach about things. If you speak about something with humour, it’s much easier to contain it in my opinion. We are a funny band. We have three singers in the front who are all very strong characters. It’s powerful. The audience is dancing and responding. When we see that, we know that something moved them. Some of our songs have very funny lyrics and we see the audience’s reaction to that. We see that they got the point."

Read the full interview here and give the Jewish Monkeys' second album "High Words" a listen while you're at it. Gut Shabbes!

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ZMEI3

On A Musical Trip Through Transylvania

"Rough Romanian Soul" is the title to their debut album and that is exactly what the Berlin-based quartet Zmei3 formed around two Romanian immigrants delivers. Classically trained vocalist Paula Turcas and band [...]

"Rough Romanian Soul" is the title to their debut album and that is exactly what the Berlin-based quartet Zmei3 formed around two Romanian immigrants delivers. Classically trained vocalist Paula Turcas and band leader Mihai Victor Iliescu on guitar are joined by master vibraphonist Oli Bott and the full sound of double bass player Arnulf Ballhorn as the group conjures up a powerful blend of urban music inspired by its rural Romanian heritage. Recorded live and without overdubs in Transylvania by Grammy® award-winner Ian Brennan (whom you may remember from the Zomba Prison Project), their "beautiful and heartfelt music rises from the harsh realities and struggles of a post-Communist rule", both primal and at times haunting. 

"Eastern Europe in general has been neglected by the rest of the world in terms of interest and exploration of music and culture. It has literally and deliberately been treated as a bloc. There is a great ignorance amongst many as to what Eastern Europe even is after World War II, so to have vibrant and modern music from Romania is a very valuable thing." (Ian Brennan)

Below you can watch the 30-minute documentary by German journalist Roman Rhode, which follows the group on their journey 'home' through breathtaking Transylvanian landscapes, rich in hue and heritage. 

"Rough Romanian Soul" will be released on April 22nd via San Francisco imprint Six Degrees Records.

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Song From The Forest

The Story Of Louis Sarno: Preserving The Musical Traditions Of The Bayaka

Sad news reached us last week, as an obituary page in the New York Times informed us of Louis Sarno's passing. Aged 62, the New Jersey-born Sarno had devoted himself to studying and most importantly preserving the [...]

Sad news reached us last week, as an obituary page in the New York Times informed us of Louis Sarno's passing. Aged 62, the New Jersey-born Sarno had devoted himself to studying and most importantly preserving the music of the Bayaka, a pygmy tribe in the Central African Republic. Sarno spent nearly half of his life with the tribe, fully immersing himself in their culture, their language and most notably their music, which is what drew him there in the first place. He first heard the Bayaka's "mesmerizing melodies" on the radio, while studying in Amsterdam in the early 1980s and almost instantly set out to find out more about them. His journey finally led him to the village of Yandoumbe in the Dzanga-Sangha Forest Reserve, where he found the music that had first spellbound him and pressed record.

"I was drawn to the heart of Africa by a song," Mr. Sarno later recalled. "I boarded a plane that would take me into the equatorial heart of a continent where I did not know a soul, on a quest for a music that might have been nothing more than a state of my imagination." (NY Times)

Released in 2013 the German documentary "Song from the Forest" by Michael Obert visits Sarno in his forest home and accompanies him on a trip to New York City with his adopted pygmy son Samedi. Sarno's life story is fascinating, inspiring and deeply moving. The film not only documents his life with the Bayaka, but also shows Sarno in his role as a dedicated ethnomusicologist (over the decades Sarno has recorded more than 1,500 hours of unique Bayaka music), loving father and tireless activist. We were touched by his life story as well as the news of Louis Sarno's passing and tip our hats to this man, who took the road less traveled.

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Nem Kaldı

Meet Derya Yıldırım & Grup Şİmşek AKA The New Anatolian Psych-Pop Sensation
 

Drawn in at first by the vibrant artwork, young singer and multi-instrumentalist Derya Yıldırım's voice on this Anatolian psych-pop sensation's debut EP literally struck us like a lightning bolt. Which brings us [...]

Drawn in at first by the vibrant artwork, young singer and multi-instrumentalist Derya Yıldırım's voice on this Anatolian psych-pop sensation's debut EP literally struck us like a lightning bolt. Which brings us to the rest of this 'outernational' five-piece, alias Grup Şimşek (Turkish transl. 'lightning'), composed of British drummer Greta Eacott (G-Bop Orchestra / One-Take Records) as well as three quarters of the respectable Orchestre du Montplaisant (Antonin Voyant, Graham Mushnik, Andrea Piro). Recently released via Bongo Joe Records / Catapulte Records, the group's 4-track EP has spent the day on repeat in our office, blowing our minds with a cutting-edge blend of psychedelic Turkish grooves and electrifying instrumentation: 

"Their debut EP kicks off with legendary Aşık Mahzuni Şerif's 'Nem Kaldı', a groovy lament with killer melodyline, where saz and synth wave through a stream of wah-wah guitar arpeggios. The Graham Mushnik-penned instrumental '3,2,2,3' is a 5/4 psychedelic mover lead by the acid sounds of the organ – a subtle tribute to the architects of Anatolian Rock, Moğollar. On side B, Derya delivers a splendid interpretation of Özdemir Erdoğan's song Gurbet. Gurbet is a Turkish word describing a particular form of homesickness: watching from afar as things turn bad in your [And finally,] 'Davet', a Grup Şimşek composition, is a dancy, Saz-lead song likely to shake many dancefloors with emotion. The lyrics are drawn from a poem by Nazım Hikmet, father of modern Turkish poetry."

Head over to the group's Bandcamp page now to stream all four tracks or hit play above to stream their lead single "Nem Kaldı", also available in video form below.

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My Word Is Free

Tunisia's Emel Mathlouthi Drops A Powerful Mix Of Traditional North African Music
 

Back in 2011, Tunisia played a significant role in the uprising now known as the Arab Spring with its own revolution, which resulted in the ousting of then president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and lead to the [...]

Back in 2011, Tunisia played a significant role in the uprising now known as the Arab Spring with its own revolution, which resulted in the ousting of then president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and lead to the implementation of a democratic parliamentary system. Around the same time, Tunisian singer/songwriter Emel Mathlouthi landed a viral hit with her powerful song "Kelmti Horra" (Arabic transl. 'my word is free'), which went on to become an anthem of sorts among Arab Spring protesters. 

Earlier this year, she released her latest album "Ensen" on Partisan Records, alongside her main collaborator, the French/Tunisian producer and physicist Amine Metani. Recorded in seven countries across three continents the album's expansive soundscapes feature additional production by Valgeir Sigurðsson (Sigur Ros, Bjork) and Johannes Berglund (The Knife, Shout Out Louds, Ane Brun). Leading up to the album, Emel put together a noteworthy 27-minute mix of traditional music from Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt and Mauritania for leading music/lifestyle publication The FADER.

"Growing up in Tunisia we were so open to anything that came from the West," she explains. "It wasn’t a big deal that it was from the other side of the world, and that we didn’t understand the lyrics... it’s such a shame that the connectivity and the openness doesn’t work both ways. Maybe this moment will help open ears and hearts."

Read the full interview here, watch the "Ensen" album trailer below and listen to the full mix in the player above.

Tracklist
Louisa Tounsia - "Al Bab" 
El Hadhra - "Fares Baghdad"
Chikh El Efrit - "Lach Tfakker Fia"
Bouètaiba Sghir - "Malgré Tout" 
Line Monty - "Ektebli Chouaya"
Ouleya Mauritania - Unknown
Unknown (old Tunisian track from the '50s)
Chichi Imam - "Idha Chams"

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Yere Faga

Mali's Oumou Sangaré Premiers New Video To A Tony Allen Collab Track Off Her Upcoming Album

Brace yourselves for acclaimed Malian chanteuse and tireless women's rights activist Oumou Sangaré's brand new album "Mogoya", which translates to "human relations" and releases May 19th on No Format.  "Mogoya" [...]

Brace yourselves for acclaimed Malian chanteuse and tireless women's rights activist Oumou Sangaré's brand new album "Mogoya", which translates to "human relations" and releases May 19th on No Format.  "Mogoya" is her first musical offering since her 2009 album "Sera". Last week Sangaré joined the Paris-based Radio Nova crew to perform two songs off her forthcoming album. Watch the live performance here, which included the lead single "Yere Faga", featuring the legendary Tony Allen (Africa 70, Fela Kuti, The Good, the Bad and the Queen, Sébastien Tellier and many more) on drums and addresses a haunting subject: 

"Yere Faga means suicide. In my opinion no suffering justifies the taking of ones life. The song actually references honor suicides.  Life can be hard at times and people are always inclined to pass harsh judgement on you, no matter what you do. But if you let that criticism lead you to put an end to your life you will leave the people you love orphaned and wounded. There were rumours about me going around as well, people saying I wanted to end my life, but did I? Suffering is part of life", claims the singer.

Watch the impressively choreographed companion music video below, rivaled only by Oumou Sangaré's breathtaking voice.

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Holy Oxygen II

Vienna's Affine Records Unleash Okmalumkoolkat's Groundbreaking Second Instalment

Available as of today is a different project of sorts, different in the sense of what we usually post on here and different in the literal sense, as in 'I am not sure I have ever heard anything quite like this [...]

Available as of today is a different project of sorts, different in the sense of what we usually post on here and different in the literal sense, as in 'I am not sure I have ever heard anything quite like this before'. Hailing from Umlazi, Durban, South African rapper Simiso Zwane, aka Okmalumkoolkat, puts forth his second "Holy Oxygen" instalment on Vienna-based left-field electronic imprint Affine Records, featuring relentless and forward-thinking production work by his label mates Cid Rim & The cloniOUs.

While we first heard of Okmalumkoolkat in 2012, when he featured on South London dance trio LV's Hyperdub-released debut full-length "Sebenza" and were instantly drawn to his unique lyrical swagger, his "Holy Oxygen I" EP (2014) unfortunately escaped our notice. That being said, here comes "Holy Oxygen II" and it is nothing else than groundbreaking. Luckily, Affine Records delivered a track-by-track description along with the EP so that takes some work off our hands in terms of attempting to describe this mind-melting sonic fusion:

Kicking things off is "Straight To The Top": "The futuristic Gqom-inspired instrumental reflects on the last years of Okmalumkoolkat’s career, during which he has steadily increased the number of audiences for his zharp lyrics, his champion fusion of languages and contents as well as his out of this world dance moves." 

Qqom in case you were wondering is a movement that has been taking over the coastal city of Durban, described "as a more 'minimal' and 'raw' variant of South African house, most frequently heard blasting from teenagers’ Blackberrys. Evolved from Kwaito, tribal house and skeletal hip-hop influences, gqom – a word meaning 'hit' or 'drum' in Zulu, which is appropriate for such a stripped-back percussive palette".

Up next is "Zweitbester", which "takes the crew on a journey around the world, bringing Holy Oxygen Jazz tothe far out corners of Planet Earth, [while] distinctive, warped chords and an uplifting-forward house-inspired feel build the foundation for a lit up anthem", only to be followed by "Isimangaliso", equipped with "an intensely condensed instrumental [that] provides the red soil for Simiso’s verbal graffiti, steadily building up into numerous crescendos". And then finally, the grand finale, aka "Shark Attack", serving as "a further example of the trio’s trademark fusion of worlds, opened by a distant chord assembly it develops into a wild, claustrophobic, psychedelic song that is bound to [make a lasting impression on listeners around the globe]". That being said, you best blast this on your headphones

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This Is Highlife!

Avid Digger Thorsten Bednarz Puts Together An Outstanding Mix Of Rare Ghanaian Vinyl

Once every month, we here at Greedy are particularly keen on turning our proverbial dial to German national radio station Deutschland Radio Kultur, where our friend Thorsten Bednarz hosts the weekly Tonart Weltmusik [...]

Once every month, we here at Greedy are particularly keen on turning our proverbial dial to German national radio station Deutschland Radio Kultur, where our friend Thorsten Bednarz hosts the weekly Tonart Weltmusik show for world music and global grooves. Thorsten is a self-proclaimed "desperate record collector of mainly African grooves" and our personal digger/selector of choice.

For his latest show, he put together a brilliant mix of rare Ghanaian highlife records entitled "This Is Highlife!" with tracks by the Ramblers Dance Band, Kwadwoh Donkoh and his Abokyi Parts, Broadway Dance Band, Precious Jewels, African Brothers International and many more:

"This is a mix to celebrate the beauty of original highlife music. As Fela Kuti said: If you want to understand and to play afrobeat, you have to understand and to study highlife from Ghana first. In this mix you find classic recordings from E.T. Mensah next to almost unknown recordings. All the songs come from the original ghanaian records - no reissues! Many of these songs are from old 45s and were never ever published on an album." Listen here.

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I Saw You

Man Recordings Drops New Video To Forthcoming Samito Single + Free Daniel Haaksman Remix
 

One of our favourite purveyors of Neo-African club tunes, aka the notoriously relentless Daniel Haaksman, is back at it and once again laying proof to his undeniable 'goût' as a selectah and able producer: [...]

One of our favourite purveyors of Neo-African club tunes, aka the notoriously relentless Daniel Haaksman, is back at it and once again laying proof to his undeniable 'goût' as a selectah and able producer: Releasing on March 24th via his very own Man Recordings imprint is a catchy new "trans world Afro house and electro inspired club tune" by Canadian-Moçambican singer Samito. "I Saw You" is a song of lost love that takes a surprisingly harsh turn in the recently released companion video, which you can watch below. 

Samito himself is currently a on a roll. Having lived in Maputo, Cape Town and Montréal, the singer/songwriter, producer and performer has increasingly made a name for himself with his "distinct blend of electro, afro and indie vibes". His 2016 hit production "Tiku La Hina" released on Costume Records and propelled him to international acclaim on the global club circuit, only to be followed by "Cem Cem (feat. Mabika & Muneshine)", which released on French fashion & music label Kitsuné. Reconnecting with the mighty Mabika on "I Saw You", Samito is set to create yet another global stir in 2017. Mabika the "renaissance-man, is a performer, recording and VFX artist", who adds his big Lingala vocals to the mix, a language of Congolese provenance.

"I Saw You" is now available for pre-order via iTunes. The release includes three international remix treatments by Daniel Haaksman, London producer Mina (of Enchufada fame) and last but not least Nairobi's Jinku (East African Wave posse), bringing you the new sound of Kenya. Listen to Daniel Haaksman's dancefloor-friendly Afro house rework in the player above. As of today the track is up for grabs via SoundCloud, just in time for the weekend!

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Sunday News

Days Before Their Upcoming Germany Tour The Jewish Monkeys Land Coverage In Germany's Leading Sunday Paper
Greedy

Just days ahead of their upcoming Germany tour the tireless Jewish Monkeys land extensive coverage in Germany's leading Sunday paper, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. The full-page article by Jörg [...]

Just days ahead of their upcoming Germany tour the tireless Jewish Monkeys land extensive coverage in Germany's leading Sunday paper, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. The full-page article by Jörg Thomann arrives just in time for a string of live performances to take place across seven German cities over the next seven days. You can find a detailed list of all upcoming gigs in our designated 'Shows' section. As for the eloquent write-up, well it's German only and it's a long piece, so unfortunately we will not be able to translate the entire article for you. However, the opening sentence does set the tone: 

"The Jewish Monkeys are a band, that has yet to experience its breakthrough, which is actually fantastic for them. Not from a commercial standpoint, not at all, but very much so artistically."

Head over here for the entire read and make sure to catch this 'cage aux folles' live on a stage near you, if you happen to be in the area that is. And for all you non-German-speakers out there, we leave you with these awkward moments of silence by yours truly.

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The Om Factor

Luaka Bop To Release Spiritual Compilation By Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda
 

Although we usually don't cover the big names and rather try to circumvent the at times overpowering Anglo-American grasp on so-called popular culture, we could not deny the latent 'Om' factor underlying this [...]

Although we usually don't cover the big names and rather try to circumvent the at times overpowering Anglo-American grasp on so-called popular culture, we could not deny the latent 'Om' factor underlying this historic, soon-to-be-released compilation by New York-based imprint Luaka Bop (does William Onyeabor ring a bell?), covering ecstatic music by a certain Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda. Yes, that is THE Alice Coltrane, who was once married to the late jazz great John Coltrane and was a brilliant musician in her own right, with prominent releases dating back to her Impulse! solo debut "A Monastic Trio" released in 1967, coincidentally the year of John Coltrane's death. (Here's an extensive yet worthwhile follow-up read by Pitchfork's Andy Beta)

Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda was a spiritual person to say the least. Spirituality as a matter of fact shaped and guided the last four decades of her life, an often overlooked process that began during her four-year marriage to John Coltrane and continued well thereafter. In 1983 for instance, Alice laid the groundwork for the Sai Anantam Ashram on the outskirts of Los Angeles, where she began to record and release music on private cassette tapes to distribute within the spiritual community.

On May 12th, Luaka Bop is now set to release a compilation consisting of said recordings, thereby making eight of these songs available to the wider public for the first time ever. The 2LP vinyl release will even contain two more songs than the digital, CD and cassette releases. All songs were derived from four cassette tapes, recorded by Alice between 1982 and 1995, respectively entitled "Turiy Sings", "Divine Songs", "Infinite Chants" and "Glorious Chants". This historic compilation will be released as the first volume of Luaka Bop's "World Spirituality Classics" series of essential spiritual music. For more information, visit the release page. As for a sneak preview, see the video below or check our SoundCloud player above for the full version of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda's "Om Shanti". Om.

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Thai Psychedelia

A Short Introduction To Khun Narin's Electric Phin Band

Sure, there's a lot of hype surrounding this group of contemporary Thai villagers, though there just may be some truth in people claiming this to be one of the greatest musical discoveries...wait for it...ever! But [...]

Sure, there's a lot of hype surrounding this group of contemporary Thai villagers, though there just may be some truth in people claiming this to be one of the greatest musical discoveries...wait for it...ever! But let's not get ahead of ourselves. The short version of their story is this: In 2011 a group of Thai musicians, later to be known as Khun Narin's Electric Phin Band, uploaded a video of them wheeling a seemingly decrepit homebuilt soundsystem through a remote village, playing "some of the heaviest Psych known to mankind". This was literally too good to be true! The video captioned "MINDBLOWING PSYCHEDELIA FROM THAILAND" later went viral (following a post on the Dangerous Minds Blog) and in 2013, they were signed to L.A. imprint Innovative Leisure, where they've released two albums to date, both available from Bandcamp

"The music they play is called phin prayuk. The first word refers to the lead instrument, a 3-stringed lute known as the phin. The phin player, uses a string of Boss effects pedals, including a phaser, distortion and digital delay to get his sound. He also builds his own instruments, installing Fender pickups into hand-carved hardwood bodies, with elaborate mythical serpents adorning the headstock. The band takes pride in their custom PA system, as well as an imposing tower of 8 loudspeaker horns atop a huge bass cabinet. Khun Narin's Electric Phin Band's membership is always in rotation and spans several generations, from high school kids to men well into their 60s. A standard engagement has the band setting up at the hosting household during the morning rituals, playing several low-key sets from the comfort of plastic lawn chairs occasionally working in a cover version of a foreign classic (The Cranberries 'Zombie' is a favorite) while the beer and whiskey flow freely. After a mid-day banquet, they start up the generator and lead a parade through the community to the local temple, picking up more and more partiers along the way."

There's obviously more to the story and a lot more to be said about this enigmatic formation of, well, everyday guys of sorts. But for now, here's a short video piece to give you a better impression of the group and offer a glimpse of the Khun Narin experience, brought to you by ways of the Great Big Story.

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