mosaic disk 88 298.
(photo credit: )
When I first heard Mosaic Project's lounge-ethnic music on the Galgalatz station, I thought, "cool sound, great beats." When I discovered that the group was two-thirds Israeli, I couldn't wait to get my copy of the CD. Mosaic Project is a collaboration between local composers/producers Shmulik Noifeld and Eyal Katzav, and British lyricist Barry Gilbert. In the UK and Germany, where the album was first released to much acclaim, the album is described as "traditional Israeli music". But local music fans will quickly see that the album has an international vibe.
The truth is that it is difficult to categorize Mosaic Project's music. The nine tracks include a smattering of classical, soul, blues, Greek, Russian, Mediterranean, and electro trip hop tunes mixed with English lyrics. The eclectic mix of musical genres offers a wonderful musical soundtrack.
"Dry the Rain" serves up trance-electronica, "Tear It Up" continues the electro theme, and "Influences" offers a mix of ethnic music. Whereas local musicians usually release albums in the local market before testing foreign waters, Noifeld and Katzav (who have illustrious careers and have produced and composed for many other artists) first signed with Universal in the UK and Sony BMG in Germany. The local release of the album was supposed to happen last August, but the date was delayed because of the war.
In terms of text, there are many messages of hope and optimism, as well as cynicism and despair. A good example can be found in "Dry the Rain". The group sings, "We don't have to fight, we know what is right, we can love each other anyway, if we think the same, we can dry the rain."
The album actually comes with two discs: a CD as well as a DVD. The DVD includes music videos which accompany six of the tracks. The video shows 24 hours of life in Israel. Using photographs by Ziv Koren, viewers are invited to take an introspective look of life as we know it. The other five videos are all high-quality art house mini movies.
Overall, Mosaic Project's album is a captivating, moving, work of art.
Shamayim Ve'aretz (Heaven and Earth)
Ovadia Hamama Meareach (Ovadia Hamama Hosts)
Another touching work to hit the record store shelves is Ovadia Hamama's latest disc, Heaven and Earth. The talented singer-musician has taken well-known prayers and Land of Israel songs and outfitted them with modern beats. Included in the track list are "Ana beKoach," "Tfila Laderech" , "Shamayim VeAretz", and "Eretz Ahuva", among others. Hamama hosts the talented singers Ehud Banai, Gad Elbaz, Itzik Eshel, and Gil Akiviov, as well as many other musicians.
One of the outstanding tracks is the powerful rendition of "Ana BeKoach" in which a minyan of singers (10 singers) harmonizes the Kabbalist prayer with great spiritual strength.
Hamama's musical career began in 1985 when he founded the band Moskva. He left the band that would become Ethnix a year later and at the end of 1986 released his first solo single, "What happened to Dana?". Six years later he put out his first album, Run Away. Heaven and Earth is his fifth solo effort.
Once again, Hamama deserves kudos for his delicate and modest work. This low-profile, multi-talented musician offers an 18-track album filled with sound and harmony.