(Hed Arzi/Bialik Music)
Asaf Amdursky's latest offering, Rewind Ahead, is a double CD. There's no original material here, but rather fresh renditions.
The album throws us back to the Eighties. With Amdursky panache he aces the reworking of songs that were popular back when he was a youth.
One of the country's finest musicians, Amdursky is basically offering an album of covers. But this is no standard cover album. Amdursky masterfully recreates an Eighties reverberation with computer techniques, guitars, bass, keyboards and percussion to a much better sound. Some of the covers are classic - Tango's "Al Taazvi Et Tel Aviv
", Halav UDvash's "Yom Echad", Ariel Zilber's "Ani Shochev Li Al Hagav" - while other songs are less popular.
On Disc Two, Amdursky lets the music do the talking. He shows others that when doing a cover it's not about redoing a song to sound the same as its original but rather to add one's own interpretation. Save for the track names, the songs have nary a resemblance to their originals.
On both discs his arrangements are rich in sound. There's some pop, funk, jazz and a splash of disco. And all these styles are layered on top of Amdursky's signature electronica.
Amdursky superbly arranged and produced all songs with his musical partner, Pushtek. Also lending a hand were Avishai Cohen
, Yair Solotzki, Shlomi Alon, Tom Mochiach, Emily Karpel, Michal Amdursky, and Sharon Roter.
Though songs we've heard before, Amdursky's versions are wholly original.
Veteran Israeli songwriter Yankele Rotblit recently released the second part to his Medinat Hayehudim/ Ketai'm album from one year ago. The lyricist responsible for some of Israel's
greatest hits, including "Shir Leshalom," and "Darkenu," again serves up his views of the country's political and social situation.
His words are poignant, sharp-edged and contentious. In "Arbai'm Shana", for example, he sings: "Forty years of loss and expulsion/ forty years of hatred and despair/ to be a free nation/ to be a conquered nation."
All 10 tracks offer a deep look into what it means to be Israeli in today's world. His songs are lyrically complex and psychologically heavy. The composer/singer, who last week was chosen to head ACUM, will trigger the listener to think.
Whereas in Part One of Ketai'm he pronounced his texts as opposed to singing them, Rotblit follows more of a tune this time around. In terms of music, Rotblit's songs take on a Leonard Cohen