Israeli dance duo Red Axes, comprised of Dori Sadovnik and Niv Arzi, have always done things a little differently. Not sticking to electronic music or rock or psychedelic, they manage to mix them all together in a weird, fun and at times rapturous blend of music that is quirky and somehow works. Their unique way of thinking also applies to releasing music as they have already released two other albums, but apparently this was the first one they conceived as a full-length and thus gets to be self-titled.
The new self-titled album looks to expand on their quirky sound with a nod to the rebellious nature of rock and roll on “Zeze,” which matches their own persona as music makers who don’t really fit into the clean-cut dance DJ and producer category. There are moments of swirling psychedelica and dark and chugging dance tracks for a late night on all sorts of substances. The blend of post-punk, new wave and club sounds create a project that delivers something new at every turn. This album sounds like a long rave on a tropical beach somewhere where the sky is clear, the air is clean and the drinks are always cold. There may be a few white people with dreadlocks.
To dive deeper into the record, we asked Red Axes to break down their new album. They go into the sounds, collaborations and a few pieces of gear used on this Director’s Cut.
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1. They Game
This one is very important as it made us understand we are going for an album. It is not only the opening track of the album, but also the first track we did for the album. It is based on a loop from the song “They Came In” by the Butthole Surfers. We added bass, violin, guitars and drums and it really set the tone for the album.
The base for this one is the Volca sample. We used to take it with us on tour as it is super small and handy and does cool loops. We added guitar, bass guitar and a sample of a stupid man talking shit about rock & roll. One can also hear the Arturia Microbrute in action. We felt that it serves as a natural second track after “They Game.”
This one was composed during a rehearsal for our live show. Playing with our drummer Beatfoot, we really sped up the tempo and went back to our young days, dancing to trance music.
This track takes us back to the days when we were listening nonstop to Prodigy. It was really fun speeding the BPM and going for a more broken beat. The sound here is all about the Buchla and Roland Groove Box 505. The vocals that sound like a sample are actually Dori’s.
5. Stick & Stones feat. Adi Bronicki
So here we have the first collab of the album, with the amazing Adi from “Deaf Chonky Band.” We featured Adi on our last album “Beach Goth.” This time we wanted to give her a more energetic track and we love the result. The base for this track is a jam with Dori’s brother (on the bass) and his nephew on the drum machine. The weird sound you hear there is the great Korg guitar synthesizer. This is the same in the “Sun My Sweet Sun” track.
Niv: This song is a tribute to the late musician Charlie Megira. Charlie and I worked together in a kitchen in the summer of 2011. During that time, I got to know him well. He was a man of unique aesthetic and approach and had an amazing taste in everything. He was a one of a kind musician and inspiring guitarist. On the day of his passing, I listened to Alan Vega, who he loved and was a common thread between us. I wrote this song as homage to Vega’s song “Fireball.”
7. Break The Limit
Making “Hold” was so much fun, so we said let’s do one more, but this time with more power and dancefloor strength. We wanted a stupid word or sentence to play with for this track. Credits go to Dori’s girlfriend Gaia, who came up with the sentence we liked. We felt like the name of the track and the track itself work perfectly together.
8. Watching &ou
This one is a good example that shows how we work. Niv found a cool sample that says “we are watching you” and we made a track around it, as simple as that. The star synth for this one is the Microbrute Arturia.
9. Brotherhood feat. Autarkic
Here we are joined by our good friends Autarkic on vocals and the crazy Gilbert from the Wahite Screen on the guitar. You can’t go wrong with these two. We feel that this jam has classic Red Axes vibes. The Volca sample and Groove Box 505 are the main sounds here.
This one has a nice story. The song started from an audio that Udi (the drummer) sent us. It was his baby’s heartbeat before he came out to the world. The sound was so cool. It was like he was doing techno in his mom’s belly. We jammed in the rehearsal on the sample and this is the result.
This one is the happiest tracks on the album for us. We play it every time the sun is out and people are smiling. Playing on the Microbrute arp, we found this crazy happy melody. We love finding things by mistake as we are not “classical” musicians. On the piano here we have a real master Shlomi Shaban.