The newly-founded label Chant Records debuted earlier this month with a plethora of ambitious new albums. (All can be purchased through the label’s website as well as their Bandcamp page.
Raza is the sophomore effort from alt-rap duo Darshan, here comprised of rapper Eprhyme (Eden Pearlstein) and Pharaoh’s Daughter frontwoman Basya Schechter. The album reimagines the Friday night Kabbalat Shabbat prayers and draws heavily from Eastern musical traditions.
Warriors is the third release from Afro-jazz ensemble Zion80, led by guitarist and Tzadik Records alumni Jon Madof.
What We Found Along The Way is the debut full-length from Sandcatchers, an Americana-meets-Arabic ensemble fronted by oudist Yoshie Fruchter, another Tzadik veteran who is also in Zion80.
MukashiBanashi (Japanese for “tales of long ago”, a term for Japanese folk tales) is the debut from avant-rock outfit The Fugu Plan. Named for an effort to bring Jewish refugees to Japan during World War II, the band, fronted by Japan-born vocalist Yuka and Israeli bassist Shanir Blumenkranz, draws from Japanese folk traditions as well as surf, psychedelic, Ennio Morricone, and noise rock. The album is being re-released after originally coming out in February of 2016.
The label has also released Strength In Numbers, a 101-track showcase compilation featuring the above artists as well as a massive array of others. It can be downloaded and streamed for free from the label’s website.
This will be the monthly(?) feature where I catch up on news stories, album releases, and other things I either missed or didn’t have time to write about. Given my awful procrastination habit, I’ll probably be doing a lot of these.
Gangsta Rabbi Releases New Single for Pesach
Steve Lieberman aka the Gangsta Rabbi recently released “1st Diaspora Egypt“, the fourth single from his upcoming 31st album 2nd King of Jewish Punk, in honor of Pesach. The 6-minute composition chronicles the Jew’s biblical journey through Egypt, from the sale of Joseph all the way to the 40 years of wandering in the desert. Like all the songs in his King of Jewish Punk series (this album and the previous one), “1st Diaspora Egypt” is a reworking of on from his back-catalog, in this case from his 2009 CD Diaspora: A Folk-Punk History of the Hebrew Nation. You can hear this version on Soundcloud (below) or Soundclick. The new album is scheduled for release June 3.
Zion80 Crowdfunding New EP, Singles
Jon Madof’s afro-klezmer outfit Zion80 have taken to PledgeMusic to fund their upcoming Warriors EP, as well as two new singles, both to be released in late 2017 on Chant Records. As of this writing, the campaign is at 62% of its goal with 22 days remaining. You can check it out and donate to it here.
Nehedar Releases New Album Hello Abyss
Indie-pop songstress Nehedar released her latest album, Hello Abyss, last month (March 15). It is currently available on Bandcamp, so you can check it out there.
Jon Madof‘s Zion80 band recently uploaded to Soundcloud a live jam they played in December with indie rapper ePRHYME. Recorded at the Brooklyn Bowl, the track, “Yehi Shalom”, features the band improvising as ePRHYME freestyles over them, mostly cribbing from his breakout hit “Punklezmerap”.
This isn’t the first time such a pairing has occurred; ePRHYME and Madof did a live version of “Heavy Shtetl” for Hevria shortly before this concert