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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

Berlin Sessions

Jewish Monkeys - "Titina"

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)

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)

Related posts

Back To Budapest

The Jewish Monkeys Are Set To Take The Stage At Sziget (Again)
Greedy

It has been a while since we last updated you on the current state of affairs concerning our jolly Jewish Monkeys, not since their tour support for Shantel, the Shantel remix of "Fever" and their last tour of [...]

It has been a while since we last updated you on the current state of affairs concerning our jolly Jewish Monkeys, not since their tour support for Shantel, the Shantel remix of "Fever" and their last tour of Germany at the tail end of 2017 that is.

But the boys have not been monkeying around. Far from it: The band has been back in the studio readying new songs for album number three, the follow-up LP to their well received sophomore effort "High Words" released in 2017. 

After a standout performance at last year's renowned Sziget Festival and a recent show at the Viennese Donauinselfest (which was aired via the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation) the Jewish Monkeys will return to Budapest again this year and take to the stage on Saturday, August 11, at 8pm. While there, they will also be taking the opportunity to premiere their first new single "Catastrophic Life" (to be released this fall) as well as their new track "My Jewish Girl".

Check out the new Jewish Monkeys teaser below to get you in the mood and stay posted for more updates!

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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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Shake It 'Live' At Sziget!

Stream: The Jewish Monkeys Take The Stage At Hungary's Sziget Festival This Saturday
Greedy

Once again, it is festival time in good ol' fortress Europe, as Hungary's well-established Sziget Festival takes center stage and our very own Jewish Monkeys perform on the jam-packed World Music Stage. After an [...]

Once again, it is festival time in good ol' fortress Europe, as Hungary's well-established Sziget Festival takes center stage and our very own Jewish Monkeys perform on the jam-packed World Music Stage. After an already busy summer, including a raucous show at the Düsseldorf-based Asphalt Festival in July, the JMs are set to play their hearts out, alongside a well-nourished lineup of acclaimed as well as up-and-coming global players the likes of the Goran Bregovic Wedding And Funeral Band (SRB), The Klezmatics (USA), Leningrad (RU), Tuareg band Tamikrest, Bixiga 70 (BRA), Dakhabrakha (UKR), Gaye Su Akyol (TR) and many more. Check the entire 'World' lineup and time schedule here.

What's more, the shows will all be available as a live stream on Sziget's YouTube channel and Facebook page as well as via ARTE. No excuses here folks! The Jewish Monkeys perform this Saturday, August 11 at 17:15 CET. So get ready to shake it at Sziget!

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Tel Aviv Hold'em

Limited Edition Jewish Monkeys Playing Cards Available Now
Greedy

What's new from the Jewish Monkeys, you ask? Well, as a matter of fact, this tireless bunch just upgraded its merch game. Last week, the band released a brand new, 52-piece set of customised playing cards with all [...]

What's new from the Jewish Monkeys, you ask? Well, as a matter of fact, this tireless bunch just upgraded its merch game. Last week, the band released a brand new, 52-piece set of customised playing cards with all eight band members on deck and looking as spiffy as ever. Limited to 500, the cards feature the designs/collages of Israeli artist Naomi Shalev. You may recognise her art from the band's recently released second longplayer "High Words", which you can download/stream in full over here. That being said, head over to Bandcamp now and order your personal deck of Jewish Monkeys playing cards. A perfect addition to your next poker night or visit to the beach.

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Tour Be Or Not Tour Be?

BREAKING: The Jewish Monkeys Kick Off A New String Of Live Shows In Switzerland & Germany
Greedy

The infamous Jewish Monkeys have arrived in Germany, again! Well actually they have touched ground in Switzerland, where tonight they kick off a string of eight live shows, to present their brand new longplayer "[...]

The infamous Jewish Monkeys have arrived in Germany, again! Well actually they have touched ground in Switzerland, where tonight they kick off a string of eight live shows, to present their brand new longplayer "High Words" and shake some Teutonic limbs. "High Words" is now available to stream and download via Bandcamp, right over here, and comprises 10 newish tracks, including the recently released "Pupik", a tale of love in the age of social media. This time around the band will take to the stage in Flawil (CH), Munich, Dresden, Frankfurt, Karslruhe, Hannover, Hamburg and Düsseldorf. You can find a list of all their upcoming shows here. Don't sleep!

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Underwater Love

VIDEO: The Jewish Monkeys Premiere Loredana Antonelli's Superbly Animated & Choreographed New Music Video to "Pupik"
Greedy

Today marks the official release day of "High Words", album number two by the crowd-pleasing Jewish Monkeys and well, what more can we say than: we are such proud parents!

Never ones to shy away from giving, this [...]

Today marks the official release day of "High Words", album number two by the crowd-pleasing Jewish Monkeys and well, what more can we say than: we are such proud parents!

Never ones to shy away from giving, this band of middle-aged crooners, psychoanalysts and self-proclaimed womanizers picked this day to air the brand new music video to their album track "Pupik". The clip tells a tale of love in the time of social networks, beautifully brought to life by Naples-based multimedia artist Loredana Antonelli and touchingly narrated by yours truly. The video was premiered earlier today via Jazzthing and is now available for public viewing on JewTube or below.

As for the group's sophomore album, bearing ten newish bangers and even more unbearable wisdom, you may want to ask your local record dealer or stick to Bandcamp/iTunes. From the whole family here at Greedy, we wish you a heartfelt 'gut shabbes' and sincerely hope you enjoy these high words!

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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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High Words

The Jewish Monkeys Unveil The Title Track To Their Forthcoming Sophomore Full-Length
Greedy

March Madness! Hot on the heels of their recent, raucous tour of 'Doitschland', which capped off with a sold-out show in their hometown of Frankfurt, the Jewish Monkeys continue to unleash new heat off their [...]

March Madness! Hot on the heels of their recent, raucous tour of 'Doitschland', which capped off with a sold-out show in their hometown of Frankfurt, the Jewish Monkeys continue to unleash new heat off their forthcoming sophomore full-length "High Words", to be released officially next month on April 28th!

Following the release of the first heated album preview "Fever" they now premier the companion video to the album's title track, filmed at the same scrapyard you may remember from their blazing Berlin Sessions performance of "Titina" and featuring another onslaught of witty eloquence:

"Transformation, realization /Adulation, young sweet Asian / Specification, over population / Oi Vey, we are the last generation!" sing the three Jewish Monkeys frontmen, including charismatic new addition Assaf Pariente. The group will be back to perform in Germany in May. Check the dates!

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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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Meat Heat Beautiful Feet

New Jewish Monkeys Video: When Suburbian Ennui Goes Freudian
Greedy
 

This one has been a long time coming. Nestling up to the other nine tracks on their debut album "Mania Regressia", somewhat like that pink elephant no one was willing to talk about, but whose presence was felt by [...]

This one has been a long time coming. Nestling up to the other nine tracks on their debut album "Mania Regressia", somewhat like that pink elephant no one was willing to talk about, but whose presence was felt by everyone, "Meat Heat Beautiful Feet" tells the story of suburbian ennui gone Freudian.

It all started with a sentiment, a slight feeling of discomfort songwriter Dr. Boiko used to tell his guests about during regular weekend barbecues in his pool-flanked residence amidst dense and wild vegetation, located somewhere between greed and guilt.

As this innate frustration grew, the song itself evolved: a song lamenting the overwhelming boredom and dullness of that oversaturated and oversexed suburbian lifestyle, alias the ennui of having it all.

And so the Jewish Monkeys turned to the multitalented Billy Levy, frontwoman of the rock band Billy and the Firm and visionary director (i.e. Balkan Beat Box), to produce this brand new, scintillating music video and release the guys' subconscious musings out into the open.

What may be perceived as disturbing then, is no more than that ruthless Jewish Monkeys candour, an outlet for their innermost emotions and forbidden feelings. Watch the provocative clip below and listen to an early live version of the song in the player above.

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The Jew In You

A Jewish Monkeys Interview On Deutschlandradio Kultur
Greedy
 

Your favourite Jewish Monkeys are back for a series of six shows in Germany. On this occasion the band sat down with journalist Miron Tenenberg for a five-minute feature on the band in general, Jewish humour and [...]

Your favourite Jewish Monkeys are back for a series of six shows in Germany. On this occasion the band sat down with journalist Miron Tenenberg for a five-minute feature on the band in general, Jewish humour and their 'Jewishness' in particular.

While the piece was recently aired in German, here is an interesting comment made by singer Gael Zaidner in English, when asked why Germany audiences seem more engaged in the Monkeys' artistic interaction with their Jewish roots than Israeli audiences? Here's what he had to say:

"In Israel you can say that our audience is much more Israeli than Jewish. It's a new kind of Jew. It's different, it's a different culture. So the music doesn't touch them as something from their past, it's something new and interesting. […] That's why the audience is more young people, hip people, open-minded people. The Jewish part of it is not the leading reason why they like it. […] They are there just for the music. […] In Germany it's a little different."

During the interview the Jewish Monkeys also revealed that they are currently working on a new album that will contain even more Yiddish material. So, whether you are in it for the music or the 'Jewishness' of it all, stay tuned. And if you understand German, feel free to relisten to the interview in the player above.

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Jewmany

The Jewish Monkeys return to Germany for a series of Shows
Greedy

Jewmany, um, Germany, let's get loud! The Jewish Monkeys are set to return for a string of six shows. They will bring the heat to Jena, Krefeld, Cologne, Frankfurt, Kassel and Nürnberg. Check the tour section for [...]

Jewmany, um, Germany, let's get loud! The Jewish Monkeys are set to return for a string of six shows. They will bring the heat to Jena, Krefeld, Cologne, Frankfurt, Kassel and Nürnberg. Check the tour section for event details and bring your dancing shoes!

Deutschland, we're coming for you!

TUE 17.5. 2016 Jena, Café Wagner Jena e.V.
WED 18.5.2016 Krefeld, Kulturrampe Krefeld
THU 19.5.2016 Cologne, Underground Cologne
FRI 20.5.2016 Frankfurt, Das musikalische Wohnzimmer
SAT 21.5.2016 Kassel, Staatstheater Kassel
SUN 22.5.2016 Nürnberg, Israelitische Kultusgemeinde

#meatheatbeautifulfeet - What could it mean?

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Romania

This Boozy Dance-Track Will Have You Questioning Your Own Morality
Greedy

Two more dates to go on the last leg of the Jewish Monkeys' notorious "Global Warming Tour" through German lands. After a string of mesmerising performances in Stuttgart, Berlin, Leipzig, Hannover, Lübeck, [...]

Two more dates to go on the last leg of the Jewish Monkeys' notorious "Global Warming Tour" through German lands. After a string of mesmerising performances in Stuttgart, Berlin, Leipzig, Hannover, Lübeck, Hamburg and Chemnitz, the semitic 'cage aux folles' is booked for two more shows.

Next Saturday, March 11th, the Monkeys are scheduled to play the 15th International Klezmer Festival in Fürth for the second time in a row, while on Sunday, March 12th, they visit Munich's Import/Export for a musical showdown with the like-minded Geoff Berner.

Odds are high, they will also perform their crowd-favourite "Romania", one of the wildest, booziest tracks off their debut album: A frivolous Yiddish persiflage about Rumanian Jews in old Eastern Europe at the beginning of the 20th century and their love for wine, food and night-long celebrations.

How fun it is, to visit another man's wife. How nice it is, to kiss a sixteen-year-old lady instead of an aging dame. How commendable, to advise someone's grown-up daughter to follow the same exciting path her mother once did.

If you agree, then this one is definitely for you. 430+ likes and 280+ shares on Facebook don't lie. Don't forget to click 'CC' for English subtitles. This one is for the ages:

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German Chronicles

Mini-Documentary Featuring The Jewish Monkeys, In Three Parts
Greedy

Deeply impressed and profoundly moved by their latest visit to Germany, the Jewish Monkeys decided to revisit the cutting room and share their German Chronicles, a three-part web series documenting the band's visit [...]

Deeply impressed and profoundly moved by their latest visit to Germany, the Jewish Monkeys decided to revisit the cutting room and share their German Chronicles, a three-part web series documenting the band's visit to Dresden as part of their Global Warming Tour last year, where they performed for refugees and attended an anti-Pegida demonstration in musical and verbal solidarity.

Watch Part 1 below and Part 2 in our video section, airing just in time for the upcoming Global Warming Tour 2016, kicking off in Stuttgart this weekend on February 20th. To be continued...

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Bridging The Gap

Performing With And For Refugees In Dresden – An official statement
Greedy

During their "Global Warming Tour 2015" in October and November of last year, the Jewish Monkeys travelled to Dresden to take a musical stand against racism, discrimination and the rising Neo-Nazi-affiliated, [...]

During their "Global Warming Tour 2015" in October and November of last year, the Jewish Monkeys travelled to Dresden to take a musical stand against racism, discrimination and the rising Neo-Nazi-affiliated, right-wing Pegida movement by sharing a moment of love, unity and joy with and for the stranded refugees.

Needless to say, the impressions gathered there, left a lasting impression on everyone involved. Time to take a minute to reflect on the experiences of building cultural bridges between Tel Aviv and Dresden in a personal look back, that is actually looking forward.

If you want to know more about what went down in Dresden from the band's perspective, please read the official one-page "Building a Cultural Bridge" statement, to be found in our press section in German as well as in English:

“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.”

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Wor(l)d Domination

An Exclusive Jewish Monkeys Tour Diary For German Daily 'Die WELT'
Greedy

Let's take a trip down memory lane, shall we? Not too far, say back to November of last year, when the Jewish Monkeys travelled to Germany as part of their Global Warming Tour 2015. There, besides delivering a [...]

Let's take a trip down memory lane, shall we? Not too far, say back to November of last year, when the Jewish Monkeys travelled to Germany as part of their Global Warming Tour 2015. There, besides delivering a string of excellent, crowd-pleasing shows, they also took to the stage against racism and discrimination with their one of a kind satirical verses.

Singer Jossi Reich documented their experiences in an exclusive, outspoken, up close and personal tour diary for German daily paper Die WELT, to be found online, as well as in our press section.

If you understand German, it's a great read that gives insight into life on the road, the special bond within the band, differences with the press and the first time performing Yiddish songs for Arab refugees in Dresden:

“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.”

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Global Warming 2016

The Jewish Monkeys Return To Tour Germany In February & March
Greedy

Europe beware! February and March mark the return of the infamous Jewish Monkeys, back on track for a string of new sweat-inducing, eyebrow-raising performances. Hot on the heels of an eventful 2015, featuring a [...]

Europe beware! February and March mark the return of the infamous Jewish Monkeys, back on track for a string of new sweat-inducing, eyebrow-raising performances. Hot on the heels of an eventful 2015, featuring a busy tour schedule, global turmoil, mass migration, overwhelmed authorities, jam sessions with refugees and brave musico-political stands, the Global Warming Tour continues in 2016, officially kicking off in Stuttgart, Germany on February 20th. For more details, please check the 'Upcoming Shows' section and don't forget to watch 'ze trailer':

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Monkey Business

The Jewish Monkeys Make A Musical Statement
Greedy

In what can only be described as one of the very unfortunate and equally threatening side-effects of the current European refugee crisis, the anti-immigrant and anti-muslim incitement of the German-born Pegida [...]

In what can only be described as one of the very unfortunate and equally threatening side-effects of the current European refugee crisis, the anti-immigrant and anti-muslim incitement of the German-born Pegida movement has quickly gained ground with its polarising rhetoric, even spreading to other countries within less than a year.

'Enough of this monkey business', said the Jewish Monkeys and visited Dresden last October, while in Germany as part of their "Global Warming Tour 2015", for a show of solidarity and a series of performances promoting love and unity in place of fear and hate.

Below you can find the video recap of their show, playing from a trailer to an energised crowd of supporters. Part 2 also shows the uglier side of the protests, namely right wing protesters clashing with police. But then again, as Jossi Reich put it: "We should actually be grateful to Pegida for bringing together so many good people and friendly faces in one spot. So thank you, you pricks!"

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Global Copenhagen

A World Music Venue Quite Out Of The Ordinary
Greedy

Copenhagen's one and only non-profit world music venue, fittingly named Global, opened its doors to a mixed and multi-generational crowd of music enthusiasts back in 2006 and has since positioned itself as one of [...]

Copenhagen's one and only non-profit world music venue, fittingly named Global, opened its doors to a mixed and multi-generational crowd of music enthusiasts back in 2006 and has since positioned itself as one of the prime establishments of its kind and in the world, while being the only venue in all of Denmark dedicated to the genre itself, as eloquently put in this well-written piece, recently published on Vice magazine's Noisey platform:

"World music is another way of saying non-western [...]. While the term itself is a bit weird, it basically gives Global carte blanche to bring in acts from the vast array of musical styles that fall underneath the gigantic ‘world music’ umbrella."

It just so happens that Global's booker, responsible for bringing in a steady flow of quality, multi-faceted acts, is also the world-renowned Roskilde Festival's booker, which then explains the density of high-profile acts to have manned Global's comparably small stage in addition to lesser known, yet equally promising artists.

"It’s important for us to present the diversity of music that lies within the strange concept of world music," says Bjarke Svendsen, Global’s daily manager via Noisey. And it shows.

Our very own Jewish Monkeys were excited to launch their ongoing "Global Warming Tour" there in mid-October and absolutely enthralled by the great atmosphere. While the band-crowd interaction is what made this performance memorable in the first place, Jewish Monkey's manager and world music veteran Jean Trouillet shared an anecdote emphasising an equally important aspect of Global's success:

"After the soundcheck, a long table fitted with candles was set-up in the middle of the hall, bearing food for the band as well as the entire crew. Everyone participated in this 'final supper' – what a great idea! We were all impressed by how friendy and incredibly well-organised the Global crew handled business. Half of the helping hands there are volunteers working for free but not for nothing – what an amazing place!"

On behalf of the Jewish Monkeys and Greedy for Best Music, thank you Global CPH for an unforgettable experience. And don't forget to check out the great portraits shot by Rune Abro that night! Visit his Abstreet Facebook-page for more.

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Building Bridges

Concerts, Workshops, Jam & Recording Sessions For Refugees In Dresden
Greedy

Last Saturday the tireless Tel Aviv-based Jewish Monkeys rocked Copenhagen's Global music venue only to travel to Dresden one day later for a series of concerts, workshops, jam sessions and 'bridge-building' with [...]

Last Saturday the tireless Tel Aviv-based Jewish Monkeys rocked Copenhagen's Global music venue only to travel to Dresden one day later for a series of concerts, workshops, jam sessions and 'bridge-building' with refugees there, in a call for more humanity and less racism:

"It's a special honour for us to play for people from our neighbouring country Syria and to build bridges with the potential to overcome hostility. Just like the generation of our grandparents during the holocaust, refugees from Syria and other countries today are often refused and left to their own devices", says Jossi Reich, singer and speaker of the band.

The "Kulturbrücke Dresden Tel Aviv"-initiative, brainchild of Jean Trouillet (manager of the Jewish Monkeys) and Björn Riemeier (Dynamite Concerts), successfully kicked off yesterday with the official "One Love Concert" and includes several days of musical events and activities taking place in Dresden during the following days, focussing on the international refugee crisis:

      • October 18th, 19:00hrs: "One Love Concert" for refugees and their aides at four different homes.
      • October 19th, daytime: Workshops & Jam Sessions w/ refugees + Banda Comunale @ Schauspielhaus.
      • October 20th, daytime: Recording & Jam Sessions w/ Dresden musicians and refugees.
      • October 20th, 20:00hrs: Guest appearance in Anna Mateur's 'Büro für Chaos und Ordnung' (sold-out) @ Scheune.
      • October 21st, daytime: Recording & Jam Sessions w/ Dresden musicians and refugees.
      • October 22nd, daytime: Recording & Jam Sessions w/ Dresden musicians and refugees.

In light of the recent rise of the anti-immigrant/anti-foreigner Pegida movement in Germany (with its hub in Dresden), the Jewish Monkeys are more than happy to accept the invitation to return to Dresden and take a musical stance, while performing and jamming with local musicians and bands (Anna Mateur, Banda Comunale, Yellow Umbrella) as well as refugees (i.e. oud players from Syria or krar players from Eritrea and many more) and recording pieces for their new album. The Kulturbrücke project is scheduled to ensue in May 2016 with a large concert including all participants.

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Luba Lubaviczer

Live In Fürth
Greedy
 

Back in 2014, the Jewish Monkeys performed at the International Klezmer Festival in Fürth, Bavaria. Among our favourite live recordings from the concert is this rambling rendition of their ode to the fictive [...]

Back in 2014, the Jewish Monkeys performed at the International Klezmer Festival in Fürth, Bavaria. Among our favourite live recordings from the concert is this rambling rendition of their ode to the fictive female temptress "Luba Lubaviczer", who had the boys in quite an infatuated frenzy. But hear for yourselves. Let's just say the audience got it's fair share of 'oy's:

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

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"

For more lyrics check out the Monkeys' "Mania Regressia" album here.

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On The Road Again

Jewish Monkeys "Global Warming Tour 2015" Announced
Greedy

Things are definitely heating up in Jewish Monkeys territory as we unveil the brilliant artwork to their upcoming "Global Warming Tour", with live shows all across Germany from October 16th through November 8th. [...]

Things are definitely heating up in Jewish Monkeys territory as we unveil the brilliant artwork to their upcoming "Global Warming Tour", with live shows all across Germany from October 16th through November 8th. Exact dates and locations to be announced.

In the meantime, be sure to feast your eyes on these handsome m*therf*ckers lounging poolside, obviously ignorant of current global hardships as expressed in their album track "Caravan Petrol", featuring in the official lyric video below.

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In Their Own Words

An Interview With Israeli Daily Ha'aretz
Greedy

Prior to a gig at Tel Aviv's crazy underground venue Radio E.P.G.B in January 2014, the three Jewish Monkeys singers Jossi Reich, Ron Boiko and Gael Zaidner met with Dafna Arad of the Israeli daily Ha'aretz to share [...]

Prior to a gig at Tel Aviv's crazy underground venue Radio E.P.G.B in January 2014, the three Jewish Monkeys singers Jossi Reich, Ron Boiko and Gael Zaidner met with Dafna Arad of the Israeli daily Ha'aretz to share some insight on the band's evolution, from its modest beginnings to the point, where things started to get a bit more serious, with their then soon-to-be-released debut album "Mania Regressia". The piece really puts their individual motivation into perspective, offering a first-hand analysis of the minds, philosophies and aspirations behind the project.

As Zaidner puts it: “It’s definitely an outlet for needs that aren’t met by the daily grind. Nevertheless, that’s not why we’re here. The objective is for it to be of value, to have something to say, and maybe even [provide] a livelihood – I hope so. My hope is that we won’t have time for other things. Why shouldn’t dreams come true in midlife?”

If you want to know more, head over here to download the entire interview in English, French and Hebrew.

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Daidaidaidaidai

"Titina" Live In Fürth
Greedy
 

In March 2014 the Jewish Monkeys were invited to play the International Klezmer Festival in the quaint North Bavarian town of Fürth. Once on stage they also performed one of their favourite non-album [...]

In March 2014 the Jewish Monkeys were invited to play the International Klezmer Festival in the quaint North Bavarian town of Fürth. Once on stage they also performed one of their favourite non-album tracks "Titina", an upbeat tune taken from the Charlie Chaplin movie "Modern Times" and underlaid with an old Yiddish song. Adding their very own touch of punk to the mix, this rendition sure got the crowd going and chiming in with the "daidaidaidaidai" chorus. In case you were wondering, the song is about a "Chussenbucher", a 50-year-old bridal candidate, still looking for a bride. Luckily there's a live recording up online for us all to relive the experience.

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"Home? Between The Legs Of My Wife"

The Jewish Monkeys On German National Radio
Greedy
 

If you are familiar with the Jewish Monkeys mindset and their seemingly carefree, provocative, or rather thought-provoking, politically incorrect approach to basically everything that is politically incorrect, then [...]

If you are familiar with the Jewish Monkeys mindset and their seemingly carefree, provocative, or rather thought-provoking, politically incorrect approach to basically everything that is politically incorrect, then this interview, which aired on German national radio station Deutschlandradio Kultur in April, will be to your liking. Though you will need to speak German to understand, what is being said.

Ronni Boiko and Jossi Reich sat down with host Oliver Schwesig to discuss their current debut album “Mania Regressia”, their difficulties in getting the controversial Jewish Monkeys moniker officially registered as a trademark, as well as their particular brand of diaspora-humour. When asked, “Berlin, Tel Aviv, Frankfurt, where do you guys feel at home?”, Jossi delivered the quick-witted response: “For me, at home is between the legs of my wife”.

Ronni then continued to sum up the band’s essence: “We want to make music that catches people off guard, also lyrically. Nothing too conventional, nothing people have already heard and no traditional Klezmer music, which is part of the past, music that has already been written. Our approach then is to create something that is obviously in line with our Jewish roots, but also reveals modern day influences from all of our everyday lives. […] We like to surprise people.”

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A London Triple

Jewish Monkeys Live @ Passing Clouds
Greedy

On a weekend in March, the Jewish Monkeys travelled to London to play three consecutive club shows in the British capital. Unfortunately, upon arrival at Heathrow Airport, they were detained and questioned for a [...]

On a weekend in March, the Jewish Monkeys travelled to London to play three consecutive club shows in the British capital. Unfortunately, upon arrival at Heathrow Airport, they were detained and questioned for a rough eight hours, before finally making it to their first gig with a slight delay. Once on stage however, they performed with such energy, passion and enthusiasm, releasing all the tension and turning the negative energy into boisterously good vibes, that they instantly brought the audience to its feet. And what’s more, there is even an official video shot at Dalston’s Bohemian multicultural centre and music venue Passing Clouds during their Spring Equinox Forest Party, visually documenting one of the Monkeys' most memorable London live performances, which you can see below! One visitor was even prompted to write a short concert review sharing her personal impressions and appreciation for the band. Tip of the hat to you London! We'll be back.

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Jewish Monkeys X Paul Wallfisch

"Black But Sweet" Live In Hamburg 2015
Greedy

Earlier this year in April, the Jewish Monkeys embarked on their seven-stop "Springtime For Hinkel" Tour through North and East Germany. Playing the well-established Hamburg Kampnagel venue, they were supported [...]

Earlier this year in April, the Jewish Monkeys embarked on their seven-stop "Springtime For Hinkel" Tour through North and East Germany. Playing the well-established Hamburg Kampnagel venue, they were supported by none other than the ubertalented, musical globetrotter Paul Wallfisch, who decided to join them on piano for this crooning, 'live but sweet' rendition of their controversial track "Black But Sweet", which you can relive below:

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Muslims & Christians

Habibi Funk Takes A Closer Look At The Sudanese Jazz Scene & Kamal Keita

Following our recent recommendation of Berlin-based reissue label Habibi Funk's latest mix, we checked the imprint's Bandcamp page only to find ourselves drawn to yet another release, entitled "Muslims & [...]

Following our recent recommendation of Berlin-based reissue label Habibi Funk's latest mix, we checked the imprint's Bandcamp page only to find ourselves drawn to yet another release, entitled "Muslims & Christians". And the story goes a little something like this: 

While taking a closer look at the Sudanese jazz scene and the artist Sharhabeel Ahmed in particular, label head Jannis Stürtz began to dig deeper and eventually decided to fly to Sudan to further investigate and learn about the local music scene in the '70s. As he recalls, Kamal Keila was a name that popped up, an artist "coined the James Brown or Fela Kuti of Sudan." 

With the help of local IT expert Yassir Awad, who also happens to run a music blog covering Sudanese jazz bands, Jannis was able to arrange a meeting with Kamal on the outskirts of Khartoum and spend an afternoon in the latter's home. As it turned out, Kamal had never released a record on vinyl nor on cassette, but still had two tapes from sessions recorded for Sudanese radio. 

"In Sudan the radio stations were not allowed to play the recordings produced by music labels on air, therefore they had their own studios and invited musicians to record music for their program. In most cases the musicians would not receive a copy of the recordings out of fear that they would release the music themselves."

Though the two five-track tapes Kamal was able to dig up seemed to be in a terrible state, they actually played well. One tape contained tracks with English lyrics, the other was in Arabic. 

"Musically you can hear the influence of neighbouring Ethiopia much more than on other Sudanese recordings of the time, as well as references to Fela and American funk and soul. Kamal's lyrics, at least when he sings in English, which indicates more freedom from censorship, are very political. A brave statement in the political climate of Sudan of the last decades, preaching for the unity of Sudan, peace between Muslims and Christians and singing the blues about the fate of war orphans called 'Shmasha'," Jannis explains. 

Now released for the very first time on Habibi Funk, these two radio sessions dating back to 1992 are the very first in a series covering the Sudanese jazz scene and another invaluable document, saved from obscurity. You can buy/stream the entire release here. Enjoy!

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Shirin Joon

Liraz Releases Single #2 Off Her Forthcoming Album On Dead Sea Recordings
 

Right now it's all eyes on Liraz as the multi-talented Israeli artist of Persian origin unveils the second single off her forthcoming LP on Tel Aviv's Dead Sea Recordings. While her family emigrated to Israel during [...]

Right now it's all eyes on Liraz as the multi-talented Israeli artist of Persian origin unveils the second single off her forthcoming LP on Tel Aviv's Dead Sea Recordings. While her family emigrated to Israel during the '70s, right before the Iranian Revolution, Liraz's distant roots are core to her art. In fact, she has chosen to place a strong emphasis on the role of women as well as female artists and singers in Iranian society and culture.

Her brand new single is a beautiful nod to Kourosh Yaghmaei, "one of the biggest heroes of pre-revolutionary Iranian music. Throughout the 1970s he was one of Iran's quintessential guitar gods, rock stars and prophets of a young, progressive generation in Iran. His career collapsed soon after the Islamic Revolution started. And, just like other musicians and singers, especially women, he was barred from releasing records, traveling and performing live."

Produced and arranged by Rejoicer, Liraz's rendition of Kourosh Yaghmaei's song "Shirin Joon" is accompanied by Gershon Waiserfirer on electric oud, Gilad Abro on bass, Roy Chen on drums, Aviva Aleav on violin, Roy Hermon on keys, Ben Aylon on percussion and Rejoicer on synths, rhodes and drum programming. "Shirin Joon" is a heartfelt letter to a beloved soul that seems without reach. Starting off on swirling string arrangements, the Liraz's version embarks on a lush, forward-thinking beat along with just the right amount of Persian pizazz. 

"Dear Shirin / At the corner of the sky / Written with great letters  / Who ever has a beautiful lover / Has his place guaranteed in heaven / Dear Shirin / My soul my sweetheart  / Be my sweet life and kiss me / But you’re walking away / And you are leaving me here broken into pieces," the translated lyrics read.

You can listen to the single in the SoundCloud player above or buy/stream it here. Also, check out the video to Liraz's debut single "Nozi Nozi" below. Her highly-anticipated LP "Naz" releases via Dead Sea Recordings on October 19th.

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Nyege Nyege

Ugandan Music Festival Faces Charges Of Promoting Homosexuality

After quite a scare, this year's MTN Nyege Nyege festival in Jinja, Uganda is now in full effect. In a letter addressed to the East African country's Minister of Internal Affairs and the Inspector General of Police [...]

After quite a scare, this year's MTN Nyege Nyege festival in Jinja, Uganda is now in full effect. In a letter addressed to the East African country's Minister of Internal Affairs and the Inspector General of Police earlier this week, the Ugandan Minister for Ethics and Integrity, Rev Fr Simon Lokodo, had asked that the festival be stopped "over claims of promoting homosexuality"

"I have received credible information from Religious Leaders, Opinion Leaders, and Local Authorities that the purpose of this festival, in the last two years, has been compromised, to accommodate the celebration and recruitment of young people into homosexuality, and LGBT movement," a section of the letter reads. 

While it seemed as though the festival would actually be cancelled and numerous fans took to social media to voice their surprise and concern, the minister's motion found low support and Mr Lokodo was finally urged to admit defeat: 

“I tried my best to block it (Nyege Nyege), but the devil has a strong hand. I had to backtrack,” the minister said and added: “The first day (on Tuesday) I announced that it (the festival) won’t happen, but yesterday (Wednesday) because of pressure from all sides, my elders and even my own boss, I had to concede defeat.”

Earlier this year, the festival organisers had announced, that Nyege Nyege was going to add 3 letters to its name. MTN, "Uganda's biggest telecommunication company", came on board as sponsors of this year's event. The festival is currently in its fourth year. What started as a small rained-out gathering in 2015 with around 800 people, has now turned into a highly significant festival for music and culture in East Africa, which is expected to draw 8,000 people this year:

"Made possible by the tireless efforts of volunteers and artists [...] Nyege Nyege has built an identity true to the underground, promoting values such as freedom of expression, respect, curiosity and pride in our culture while maintaining openness to diversity and the world at large, something Uganda has become known for throughout the world," a statement by the organizers reads. 

Nyege Nyege seems to be in full swing now and this year's lineup should make for an amazing musical experience. Luckily, this so-called devil has once again prevailed.

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More Habibi Funk

Berlin-based Reissue Label Drops Another Mix Of Hard-To-Find Arabic Funk
 

About time, we thought to ourselves, when we saw a brand new Habibi Funk mix pop up in our timeline. And apparently, so did Jannis Stürtz, the Berlin-based label founder and avid digger, who also happens to run the [...]

About time, we thought to ourselves, when we saw a brand new Habibi Funk mix pop up in our timeline. And apparently, so did Jannis Stürtz, the Berlin-based label founder and avid digger, who also happens to run the Jakarta Records imprint: 

"I realized last weekend that I had not done a mix since early 2017 and it was about time to bring the series back. So here is Habibi Funk Mix 008 with a selection of vinyl and tapes which were originally released in the 1970s, 1980s, and even as late as late 1990s. We got a couple of previews for material we have licensed and that will drop in the future from artists such as the Golden Hands, Attarazat Addahabia, The Scorpions and Majid Soula. Apart from that I’m super happy to have Libya covered with 3 tracks, a country about whose musical heritage I didn’t know much outside Ahmed Fakroun obviously. From the obscure to the more known...."

The last time we covered the Habibi Funk adventures was at the tail end of 2015. Back at the time there were four mixes in circulation. Now here comes number 008.  Listen via the SoundCloud player above and head over to the Habibi Funk Bandcamp page for mixes 001-007 as well as the label's official releases.

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Kasahwa

A Collection Of Early Singles By Zimbabwean Mbira Master Stella Chiweshe
 

"I am a rebel," smiles the 70-year-old Zimbabwean legend Stella Chiweshe, a breath-taking artist and performer also known as "The Queen of Mbira". Having spent her childhood surrounded by American Rock’n’Roll [...]

"I am a rebel," smiles the 70-year-old Zimbabwean legend Stella Chiweshe, a breath-taking artist and performer also known as "The Queen of Mbira". Having spent her childhood surrounded by American Rock’n’Roll and Country by artists the likes of Elvis Presley, Ricky Nelson, Jim Reeves, and The Everly Brother, she at first showed little interest in local traditional music. That is until she took a liking to the Mbira, "an instrument consisting of 22 to 28 metal keys mounted on a wooden healing tree body." 

But Mbira also refers to "an ancient mystical music, which has been played for over a thousand years by the Shona people. Its most important function is as a 'telephone to the spirits of people, water, trees, stones and birds,' used to contact both deceased ancestors and tribal guardians, at all-night ceremonies."  Even though Stella Chiweshe eventually turned into "an avid student of the instrument and the philosophy connected to it", playing Mbira music was not considered a suitable activity for women in the British colony of Rhodesia. Thus, no one was willing to teach her, much less build an instrument for her. 

She ended up recording her very first single "Kasahwa" (1974) on a borrowed thumb piano and became a local sensation. After Zimbabwe's independence in 1980, Stella Chiweshe began touring internationally and gained further acclaim, first as a soloist for the new "National Dance Company of Zimbabwe", then under her own name. Now considered a true African music icon, Stella Chiweshe lives between Zimbabwe and Germany, with Berlin being her second home.  

On September 14th, Glitterbeat Records will release a captivating collection of her early singles, remastered by Nick Robbins from London’s Sound Mastering studio. The eight "impossible-to-find" recordings on "Kasahwa" span the period from 1974-1983 and have never been officially released outside of Africa.

Listen to "Mayaya (Part 1 & 2)" in the SoundCloud player above or the video below. There will be an exclusive record release concert taking place at YAAM Berlin on September 13th

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Malphino

Time To Visit This Tropical Island Of Heady Volcanic Sounds

This summer season may be coming to a close, but there should always be time for another visit to Malphino. Said destination is "an imaginative tropical island", inhabited by a mystical band of outer-nationals from [...]

This summer season may be coming to a close, but there should always be time for another visit to Malphino. Said destination is "an imaginative tropical island", inhabited by a mystical band of outer-nationals from London, who have dreamt up their own musical "promised land of hypnotic cumbia rhythms, subtle digital warbling, accordion textures, voodoo vapours and woodblock charm"

In May the eponymous London collective of musicians and visual artists released its debut album "Visit Malphino", a 17-track "cinematic score and audio backdrop to their idyll", available to stream/buy on Bandcamp. Travellers to their affluent realm will be mesmerised by the outfit's broad range of styles from either side of the Pacific, combining "East-Asian folkloric traditions, Brazilian forró, 1930's Cuban rumba or Peruvian chicha and cumbia" to create "a heady mix of volcanic sounds". Simply magical!

Band members Alex Maglalang, El Dauphin, Bruce Beach, David Aird, Graham Mushnik, Julian Varencia, and Yu Sato themselves hail from Japan, Malaysia, Colombia, France, the UK and the Philippines, making for a solid multicultural foundation to their joint project. That being said, we can only repeat what we said from the start. So go ahead and "Visit Malphino". You will not be disappointed. And while you're at it, you may also want to check out their 2013 released EP "El Lava de Gabacho".

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El Niño

French Afro-Soul Duo DjeuhDjoah & Lieutenant Nicholson Release Piping Hot 7"

Ooh wee! What have we here? Back in June, the up-and-coming French afro-soul duo DjeuhDjoah & Lieutenant Nicholson released a piping hot limited edition 7" single on Paris-based Hot Casa Records, previewing their [...]

Ooh wee! What have we here? Back in June, the up-and-coming French afro-soul duo DjeuhDjoah & Lieutenant Nicholson released a piping hot limited edition 7" single on Paris-based Hot Casa Records, previewing their forthcoming sophomore album "Aimez ces airs".

The A-side features "El Niño", a funktastic afro-beat infused groover dealing with climate change, which is bound to set international dancefloors alight. On the flip side listeners will find a track entitled "Fontaine (Drink, Drink)", an equally catchy and danceable tune all about that precious resource water. Stream/buy both tracks here. Watch the official companion video to "El Niño" below. 

A follow-up to the singer/producer duo's 2015 debut album "T'es qui?", "Aimez ces airs" will be released in November. Be sure to have these guys on your radar!

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Victoria Hanna – The Album

The Israeli Phenomenon Releases Her Debut Longplayer On Greedy for Best Music
Greedy
 

Today marks release day for a very special artist, who just recently joined the Greedy family. Victoria Hanna is nothing short of a phenomenon, a painter in sound and a master of language. As she explores the [...]

Today marks release day for a very special artist, who just recently joined the Greedy family. Victoria Hanna is nothing short of a phenomenon, a painter in sound and a master of language. As she explores the boundaries of the human voices, moving between ancient music and contemporary beats, between philosophical and religious texts, her compositions are shaped by diverse vocal techniques, both sung and spoken. 

Her self-entitled debut album then speaks volumes, featuring ten songs entirely her own and ranging from Kabbalistic rap to Aramaic hiphop and Israeli pop. Raised in an orthodox family and impaired by a stutter, Victoria Hanna embarked on an inner journey to explore the mouth as creator, which became the inspirational and emotional journey of her life.

"I come from a religious family in Jerusalem, where women were not permitted to sing in front of men. It wasn't considered modest. But my voice broke out of me, it was stronger than I was. I struggled with this for years. Something inside me believed that I was sinning. Today, I sing throughout the world – texts from the Kabbalistic tradition that were once the exclusive 'property' of men. I honour these texts, and attempt to convey them with love and respect," she explains.

"Victoria Hanna" the album is divided into two sections, two worlds she explores, namely voice and speech. Voice as being abstract, free in space and speech as something concrete, conceptual and rhythmic: "Victoria and Hanna are my two grandmothers, after whom I am named. They were both married as girls, against their will. Victoria – rebelled, stood up for herself, had a courageous heart and was revolutionary for me. Hanna – was withdrawn, served, surrendered and was my home and my heart. Part 1: Victoria – focusses on the power of speech and breaking it down into its component letters. This part of the album is rhythmic, danceable, for the night hours and is produced by Tamir Muskat (Balkan Beat Box). Part 2: Hanna – focusses on the voice that breaks through, the voice that calls. This part is melodic, music for the wee-hours. It was produced by sound artist Frank van der Weij."

You can listen to the full album via the SoundCloud player above or buy/stream it here. You might also want to check out this year's Elsewhere interview from WOMAD or watch another nice piece by YLE Finland below.

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Out Of Nations

A Sonic "Quest" For Humanity Before Nationality
 

In a world without borders, humanity comes before nationality. Such is the founding sentiment and raison d'être of the Berlin-based Out Of Nations collective, a message the seven-piece wishes to spread through its [...]

In a world without borders, humanity comes before nationality. Such is the founding sentiment and raison d'être of the Berlin-based Out Of Nations collective, a message the seven-piece wishes to spread through its music. "Out Of Nations is a dream for a future world, where people take each other as humans before they see each other as members of a certain nation," the band's bio reads. 

Inspired by the global repercussions of the Arab Spring, including a dramatic increase in xenophobia, border security and violence, their music reveals a different narrative and shares a new vision of World Music: "The band's futuristic take on world music challenges the normal custom that musicians performing music from non-Western parts of the world emphasise the difference of their home countries through traditional, exotic dress and performance. Out Of Nations instead performs in sleek futuristic garments, reflecting a post-racial, post-national future world."

At the centre of it all is reeds player and composer Lety ElNaggar, who herself was "born to Egyptian and Mexican immigrant parents in suburban America". Alongside producer Khalil Chahine, she decided to envelope her international heritage and experience in modern sounds, fusing organic and electronic elements from the Middle East and Latin America with pop, rock, funk, jazz – "a soundtrack to match the visual wonderland they create on stage".

The group's wonderful debut album "Quest" releases at the end of August on Riverboat Records / World Music Network. They perform live in Berlin on August 14th at ufa Fabrik. Click here for more details.

Feel free to check out "The Out Of Nations Story" below or listen to album track "Fiebre (feat. Juan Ospina)" in the SoundCloud player above. 

Out Of Nations are
Lety ElNaggar (reeds)
Jonas Cambien (keys)
Charis Karantzas (guitar)
Fabian Timm (bass)
Ayman Mabrouk (percussion)
Christian Tschuggnall (drums)
Khalil Chahine (producer, engineer)

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Quebra Cabeça

São Paulo's Bixiga 70 Announce Fourth Album

What a coincidence! So yesterday we walk by the Bixiga 70 poster in our office from their Berlin performance at YAAM in June, 2016. And we wonder if it wouldn't be about time for a new album. We visit their Twitter [...]

What a coincidence! So yesterday we walk by the Bixiga 70 poster in our office from their Berlin performance at YAAM in June, 2016. And we wonder if it wouldn't be about time for a new album. We visit their Twitter page, don't see any apparent news and move on to the next artist on our list. Then today, while browsing our timeline, we discover a post by Glitterbeat Records, announcing the collective's upcoming fourth album, to be released on October 12th! 

“From the very beginning, what we have always had in common is African-Brazilian music,” explains baritone sax player and flautist Cuca Ferreira. "Some of us come from candomblé (the African-Caribbean religion), others from jazz, reggae, dub, everything. The whole idea of the band has been to take all these different elements that form us, from Africa and Brazil, and create a hybrid from them.”

Since their 2015-released album "III", the acclaimed horns-driven ten-piece has been on the road, performing with established artists the likes of Pat Thomas, Orlando Julius or João Donato. These rich and new experiences have now made their way onto the group's forthcoming longplayer "Quebra Cabeça", which they claim is "more complex" and "different" than their previous arrangements.  

"Throughout though, the heartbeat of everything remains utterly African, refracted through the prism of the band’s home in the Bixiga neighbourhood of São Paulo. 'What we put on top of that is essentially urban São Paulo music,' Ferreira continues. 'This city has been a huge influence on us. It has that sense of urgency, always running to catch up. It’s expensive, and services are awful, with so much pollution and violence. But it’s our home and it was developed through immigration. Bixiga is where people come first of all. It’s always had that influx; it’s the story of São Paulo in miniature.'"

For now, we only got a preview of the album's title track, along with a trippy and somewhat sinister accompanying video, which you can see below. But through all the colourful complexity, Bixiga's vibrant, contemporary funk is still very much alive.

Bixiga 70 are
Chris Scabello - guitar 
Cuca Ferreira - baritone sax, flute 
Daniel Gralha - trumpet 
Décio 7 - drums 
Daniel Nogueira - tenor sax 
Douglas Antunes - trombone 
Marcelo Dworecki - bass 
Maurício Fleury - keyboards, guitar 
Rômulo Nardes - percussion

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Black Noise 2084

DJ Khalab Weaves Poly-Phonic Tapestry Of Displaced Sounds
 

Though rooted firmly in organic sounds and archaic rhythms, many of DJ Khalab's mind-warping productions have a futuristic feel to them. You might feel the urge to call it afro-futurism or future base or even jazz. [...]

Though rooted firmly in organic sounds and archaic rhythms, many of DJ Khalab's mind-warping productions have a futuristic feel to them. You might feel the urge to call it afro-futurism or future base or even jazz. Or how about "Black Noise 2084". That should fit quite well. 

"Black Noise 2084" is the title to Khalab's stupendous new album. Born Raffaele Constantino, a "renowned Italian radio host, producer, writer and artistic director", he decided to take on the role of DJ Khalab and "focus his attention on African music", as a devoted "beat marabout" and citizen of "planet Earth" on "an ongoing round trip journey between tribes and psyche, desert and spaceships, jungle and skyscrapers." You can read more on the transformation in a 2017 interview with Rhythm Passport

In any case, "Black Noise 2084" has cast its enigmatic spell on us. Flanked by feature artists the likes of Gabin Dabire, Tenesha The Wordsmith, Shabaka Hutchings, Tommaso Cappellato, Tamar Collocutor, Prince Buju, Clap! Clap! and Moses Boyd, the album is relentless in occupying afro-centic realms of sound both foreign and familiar. 

"Khalab was invited to work with field recordings from the archives of the Royal Museum for Central Africa of Bruxelles. The museum’s recordings made for a post-colonial World, hold ethnographic and historical insights into the cultures of the region over the last 500 years. The Museum is far from the horrors that Belgian King, Leopold II unleashed during his colonial reign, however it is a dark legacy that is far from absolved. ‘Black Noise 2084’ opens a portal where displaced rhythms, chants, screams and dreams collide with quaking bass, a vortex of shattering synths, jazz rains and emotion all amalgamate. Empires for millennia thrived across the African continent and Empires are being willed to rise."

Stream all 10 album tracks on Bandcamp and feel free to check out the beautifully animated video to "Dense" below. Out now via On The Corner Records! We’d also like to recommend DJ Khalab and Baba Sissoko’s “Music To… Urbanise Your Tribes To” mix for i-D, which you can listen to in the SoundCloud player above.

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A.E.I.O.U.

French Combo Cotonete Joins Forces With Di Melo For Brazilian Disco Burner

While picking up another batch of records recently, we happened to grab a copy of legendary Brazilian singer Roberto "Di Melo" Santos' dangerously catchy new single "A.E.I.O.U". Recorded in collaboration with French [...]

While picking up another batch of records recently, we happened to grab a copy of legendary Brazilian singer Roberto "Di Melo" Santos' dangerously catchy new single "A.E.I.O.U". Recorded in collaboration with French jazz pianist Florian Pellissier and his able combo Cotonete during a tour to Brasil,  "A.E.I.O.U" drops fourty years after Di Melo unveiled his classic self-entitled samba/soul LP. 

“We had a few days off in Sao Paulo and I really hoped to make a collaboration with an important artist or band from the Brazilian funk scene. We had thought of Marcos Valle, Meta Meta or Ed Motta... but our Brazilian 'sound engineer/genius' suggested Di Melo, saying he would be perfect for Cotonete. No sooner said than done. I'm a huge fan of Di Melo and had already tried to contact him for Cotonete 6 years ago. The next day, on a Sunday, he arrives at our house with Jo, his wife, and Gabi, his daughter. He takes the guitar in front of us in the kitchen, and gives us a private show of 3 hours… we cried the tears of joy. He had 400 original songs never recorded, a gold mine. On the same night, we started working the arrangements for 2 days, followed by a rehearsal and two small gigs in Sao Paulo. Immediately after, we recorded in the magical Epsilon B studio. All with the participation of Gabi, his 10-year-old daughter, and future star," Pellissier recounts. 

"A.E.O.I.U" is a serious Brazilian-French disco anthem that announces a full album, to follow early in 2019. Listen below or head over to Bandcamp for the actual release. In the meantime, never mind us, we'll just keep on dancing...

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