The magic of Magit

Famed DJ Magit Cacoon spins melodic techno beats at DGTL Tel Aviv.

By JENNIFER GREENBERG
October 10, 2019 22:52
LAST YEAR’S DGTL Festival in Tel Aviv

LAST YEAR’S DGTL Festival in Tel Aviv. (photo credit: TIM BUITING)

Magit Cacoon treats her musical career like a balancing act. Whether that means moving from Tel Aviv to Berlin and back again, producing and performing simultaneously, or spinning her turntable at both after-hours clubs and outdoor festivals, she is a fierce force of nature. So how does a girl from Ashdod burst onto the Berlin scene and return to Tel Aviv a decade later with a laudable reputation, all the while continuing to grow as a musician and individual?

“It actually all started way back in Tel Aviv with this party called ‘The Third Empire.’ They played in the desert and all across Israel,” Cacoon explained over the phone. The Third Empire was one of the first productions to bring techno to Israel seeing as before that, the country favored trans music. Cacoon scored the gig through some friends who caught her practicing one night and invited her to open one of their parties. The ambitious young artist’s talent was undeniable. She quickly became a resident there, but her heart yearned for a change of pace and change of place.

“Some of the first DJs I listened to were these two German guys called ExtraVert who played hardcore techno with melodic beats. I was heavily influenced by dark German techno.”

Following in their melodic techno footsteps – a slightly softer, more melody-based sound interspersed with vocals – a one-time gig in Dortmund turned into a one-month stay in Berlin. Cacoon explored the city’s clubs and nightlife and instantly fell in love. “I never thought I’d stay for 10 years,” she says. “But the city was just so influential for me. I felt like I was in the capital city of electronic music.” She boasted about getting to see five or six artists per night, which inspired her to create new material once back home in Israel. “They’re really nice to Israelis too,” she added.

Despite a deep-rooted devotion to the city, where she began her journey as a producer and established herself on a weekly online radio show, she admitted that she’d always call Berlin home, but her biggest dream was to make it in her first home: Israel. “I wanted to fly all over the world on the weekends with Tel Aviv as my home base.”

The two scenes may be more than 4,000 kilometers apart, yet their soundscape is, in fact, quite similar. “There isn’t much of a difference [between the two cities] because electronic music lovers form a sort of religion. All over the world, we dress the same, we love the same music, we have the same interests.” Cacoon views Tel Aviv as a capital of music that is on par with Berlin – with “amazing festivals, even better parties, and things going on every single weekend, the options are endless,” she says.

NOT ONLY does she adore her home country, she draws inspiration from it as well. For instance, on Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day), Cacoon added a speech by David Ben-Gurion onto one of her tracks. “He was such an amazing voice to hear on the beat,” she says, priding herself on the cool idea. “I’d love to do a similar track with Yitzhak Rabin’s voice as well one day... as long as nobody steals my idea,” she joked.  

Another one of her projects in the making features Israeli-Arab singer Nasreen Qadri, a current judge on The Voice Israel. This track will be one of Cacoon’s first releases on her new label, Mago Music, which is due out in 2020. She chose “Mago,” which means wizard in Spanish, because it was similar to her own name (Magit Cacoon is her actual name, not a stage name), plus easy to say and memorable.

While the electronic scene used to be dominated by men, Cacoon shed light on the incredibly strong female influence in the industry today. She believes that in Israel, at least, the electronic scene and techno in particular feature so many good female artists. “They get space, gigs and people are really into us. They don’t judge us based on our gender, it’s not about what we wear or who we are, it’s just about the music.”

Despite her great success today, Cacoon did face a crashing wave of rejection when she first starting out. Most might get swept up by the undertow, however, this strong-willed DJ kept on believing and never gave up. “I feel that’s what everybody should do when they feel something so strong inside of them. They should go with it until the very end, no matter how much money they earn or what happens.” 

Fresh off her good friend and producer Damian Lazarus’s Day Zero festival at Masada, Cacoon is at it again; this time, she’s taking on the DGTL festival at Park HaYarkon in Tel Aviv. Her set last year was a festival highlight, so this year she plans to raise the bar in the beats department.

“No matter if it’s DGTL or another festival, I always bring something new to the turntable because I have to keep things interesting for myself as well as the audience. Otherwise I’d be bored playing the same music every weekend.” Of course, she promises some classics, but they’ll be combined with unreleased music to keep her fans on their toes.

While she transforms on stage, Cacoon explains that she is just a normal person. When not in the studio working on her music, she loves to spend time with her boyfriend, family and at the beach.

“I enjoy life in the best way, but my heart is always in the music. I feel really lucky and thankful for all of the gigs that I’ve gotten lately, both in Israel and around the world. I only hope to continue this way and continue to do my best.”

DGTL takes place October 14 at Park Yarkon. For information: tlv.dgtl.nl.


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