DJ/Music Producer Yinon Yahel (born August 26, 1978 in Israel), began his musical career during the mid to late 90′s. He was the keyboardist for a famous Israeli rock band ‘Eman’. At the age of 15, Eman was the youngest group to sign a major record deal in Israel.
Following a successful career with the rock band, Yinon garnered respect as he directed towards his current and significant role as a music producer and performing DJ. His recognizable talent lead him to work with another producer by the name of Yossi Sidi on the most successful talk show in Israel known as ‘The Dudu Topaz Show’.
Shortly after the arrival of the new millennium, Yinon had become an established producer in Israel. Around this time, he teamed up with a well known Israeli DJ/Producer, Offer Nissim, as well as a talented singer, songwriter and composer, Maya Simantov also known as “Maya”. Yinons’ musical artistry brought about international recognition in 2004/05 upon release of the hit album “First Time” (DJ Offer Nissim ft. Maya) courtesy of Star69 Records USA.
The album ‘First Time’ received a warm debut on electronic dance charts worldwide including the internationally acclaimed Billboard Charts. In a short period, three singles from the album made its way up the Billboard Club/Dance Play charts including “First Time” (top 10), “Searching” (top 20) and “That the Way I like it” (top 20).
From the founders of Balkan Beat Box, Ori Kaplan and Tamir Muskat, comes a new project – Shotnez – mixing Middle Eastern and eastern European influences with noise Rock and crime Jazz. The debut album will be released into the wild on JDub Digital on April 5, 2010.
Shotnez grew out of fertile soil at Muskat’s Vibromonk Records in Brooklyn, New York. Out of Vibromonk came a galaxy of bands including Big Lazy, Firewater, Pink Noise, JUF (Gogol Bordello), Ori Kaplan’s earlier incarnation of Shotnez and ultimately, Balkan Beat Box.
Kaplan’s original band, Shaatnez, had roots in experimental jazz, but after his experience at Vibromonk Kaplan re-formed Shotnez along with producer/drummer Muskat, guitarist Stephen Ulrich (Big Lazy, Bored to Death) and Itamar Ziegler on bass (Pink Noise, Balkan Beat Box).
“The spirit of Shotnez,” explains Kaplan, “is dark, romantic, and totally kick-ass… We like to call it Mediterranean surf noir. It’s cinematic… you follow the stream of sound like the plotline of a movie.”
It’s pure “madness,” says The LA Weekly, “a whole new way to play music.”
- Artist profile (Jdub)
Balkan Beat Box has been a very successful group, when and why did the idea of creating SHOTNEZ come to be?
Itamar - I remember that around 2003 Tamir and Ori were listening to some crazy old Captain Beefheart stuff and wanted to do something with similar level of creativity, complexity and groove… That was a starting point as far as a reference, but soon enough we let things go wherever they went naturally.
Steve – Shotnez actually predates BBB. Ori formed an early jazzier version of Shotnez (Shaatnez) and having recorded the first album at Tamir’s Vibromonk studio brought in me (Big Lazy) and Itamar ( Pink Noise).
The New York scene has obviously influenced your music to some extent- how so?
NYC is a real melting pot, and being in such close contact with so many different cultures, on a daily basis is going to influence your music, if you’re aware of it or not. It opens you up to many directions… expands your mind…
Steve - Tonic (R.I.P.) being THE club in NYC’s downtown music scene at the time, left a big imprint on the band. Experimental “New Music” and the underground “rock” collided there – the perfect place for the mixed bag of Shotnez.
How has being Israeli influenced your music? Or is it the base of it all ?
Itamar - We are not all Israelis. Stephen is American. I don’t think that there is anything Israeli about Shotnez’s music per se. You know… obviously, each one of us is influenced and shaped by where he is from, for example you can hear a klezmer ‘feel’ in Ori’s playing, but in Shotnez it becomes a sort of Trash-Zmer, influenced by new york city’s grit or something like that… (we’re talking pre-Bloomberg…)
You call your new sound “Mediterranean trash rock” please explain.
Itamar – I think I just did!
How are you received internationally? Do most of your fans know you’re Israeli? Does it matter?
Itamar: Steve, do you wanna answer that?… Well, being Israeli abroad could be uncomfortable, usually it’s not, but sometimes it can be. I come from a place where I could see why people might have pre-conceptions and criticisms about Israel, I do too. So I try and be patient and hopefully, by being myself, make them realize that people shouldn’t be judged too quickly.
I’ve read that you made a point to create an album that is international… even sending files to Syria… Do you believe Music is a good medium of Dialogue ?
Itamar - Most people love music, and music has been a force in social and political change over the years… but it also has power beyond politics, it can make you forget about the troubles of the world…
Where is your favourite place to play ?
Itamar - Syria! I wish…
But really, the legendary lower east side club Tonic was our home for a while. It’s a shame they had to close down. We’re soon to find a suitable alternative. And we all love playing Europe and playing Tel Aviv is always exciting… we’re looking forward to hopefully playing soon.
And of course ? Being from such a small country, that has fostered such amazing things… Does Size Matter ?
Itamar - No. But I wish I had a larger… country?
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Another musical guest making its way to Israel : Duran Duran, one of the biggest bands of the 1980s, will perform in Tel Aviv’s Exhibition Grounds on July 30.The British band announced Israel’s inclusion in its European concert tour on its official website Tuesday morning: “Duran Duran come to Israel. General tickets go on sale April 27th. We will provide a ticketing link as soon as we have one!”
Duran Duran was formed in Birmingham in 1978, and is named after the villain in Roger Vadim’s French science fiction film “Barbarella”, starring Jane Fonda. The band became successful after its first lead singer, Stephen Duffy, left and was replaced by Simon Le Bon.
The band’s greatest hits include “Girls on Film”, “Rio”, “Save a Prayer” and “Ordinary World”.
This will be Duran Duran’s second visit to Israel. The band first performed in Tel Aviv and Haifa in 1994. In 2003, all original band members united for a concert in Britain, for the first time in 18 years. The tickets were sold out within minutes.
Globes reported that Casspi will earn $200,000 for use of his image on a series of ads for Telma’s Cornflakes of Champions.
“The Telma brand is one of Israel’s oldest and leading cereal brands. As part of brand development, we want to express the meaning of the message, ‘the power to succeed,’” said Ruth Salomon- Goldberg, marketing manager for Unilever Israel, Telma’s parent company.
“Casspi is one of the people best identified with Israeli success, and the link between him and the Telma cereal brand – the leading Israeli cereal brand – is natural.
We’re sure that Casspi will help strengthen our connection with consumers.”
Casspi said, “Telma is a brand that I, like most Israelis, have grown up with since childhood. It is part of my home and family. For me, the connection with Telma, and especially the message it will convey – the power to succeed – is natural, and I am glad for the opportunity.”
Former Maccabi Tel Aviv forward Casspi became the first Israeli to play in the NBA at the start of the 2009/10 season.
His season ended on a sour note this year, as he spent more time on the bench and wound up in a public battle with Sacramento coach Paul Westphal over his desire to be traded.
Creator of one of all-time most addictive games grants Israeli company privilege to sell merchandise of popular yet quite vengeful birds in Holy Land
Angry Birds, one of the all-time most addictive games, which has already been declared a phenomenon, is coming to Israel.
YPL, an Israeli company, has signed an agreement with Rovio – the creator of the game – which grants the company the privilege to sell merchandise of the popular and quite vengeful birds in Israel.
The company plans to take Israel by a storm by marketing tons of Angry Birds products in as many locations as possible. Amongst the planned merchandise you can find equipment for school, iPhone covers, shoes and clothing, bags, party stuff and more.
“We are proud and excited to represent Rovio in Israel. Angry Birds is a new, contemporary and refreshing product, whose popularity we believe will translate to a huge success in Israel. The demands for these products is tremendous,” said Avi Morgenstern, the CEO of YPL.
In case you are still not familiar with the game, it shows a bunch of cute yet furious birds who are fighting mean, green pigs. Of course, there is a cause for the war – the greedy pigs are stealing the birds’ eggs. Here is where you, the player, comes in: Your job is to bombard those greedy green pigs with the birds using a slingshot.
Angry Birds was first launched in 2009 as an iPhone application, available for download in Apple’s app store. Since then, the game has become more than just “a game” and as aforementioned, today it is considered a worldwide social and cultural phenomenon with everyone playing it (from kids to adults) everywhere (including the office, meeting rooms, the subway and more).
Following the success of the application, the creator Rovio (based in Finland) moved on to creating special-themed versions for the game for Christmas, Halloween and so on. Altogether the application has been downloaded more than 100 million times.
A PC version has also been released. There were also some rumors regarding a possible Angry Birds movie in the future. Imagine that.