World-wide party rocking

Jahcoozi makes room for another return Tel Aviv performance on their hectic schedule.

jahcoozi 88 (photo credit: )
jahcoozi 88
(photo credit: )
Tel Aviv club hoppers will get a treat on Thursday with an appearance at Barzilai by Jahcoozi, the hard-working, world-traveling multi-national electronic music trio based in Berlin. Fronted by charismatic and sassy chanteuse Sasha Perera (a Sri Lankan raised in London), Jahcoozi's abstract rhythms and progressive, dub-influenced jams are created by native Berliner Robert Koch and bassist/multi-instrumentalist Oren Gerlitz, an Israeli living in Germany since 2001. Reached by phone in Berlin, Gerlitz explains: "I was in another electronic music project, and we decided to do it in Berlin. After about a year I met Sasha and Robert; we became friends and started to do some projects together. Eventually we decided to make a band and started to perform in 2003. It was all organic but we worked seriously and started to perform anywhere, in trashy clubs, squats, wherever." Their first single "Fish," released quickly in 2003, became an instant club classic and they were subsequently signed by Kitty-Yo, a German label focusing on quirky pop and electronica. Jahcoozi's first album, Pure Breed Mongrel, was released on that label in 2005 to wide-spread critical acclaim, propelling the trio into the underground, international touring circuit. Jahcoozi's music is an amalgam of different electronic and cultural influences but remains rooted in the club vibe. Singer Perera's stage presence and versatility - she is part drum and bass songbird, part socially-conscious rapper and part sexy ragamuffin toaster - reveal her London roots, while Koch's driving beats are a complex European mix of hip-hop, drum and bass, techo and electro. Gerlitz's reggae-influenced basslines and production techniques round out the trio's sound, which also incorporates elements of grime and dub-step, two relatively new genres of hip-hop and electronica coming out of London. "We are modern, always doing something new," Gerlitz says. "It was hard at first for the labels to classify us. We all have different influences and we are open, but it's easy. Berlin has people from so many different places, so it just came out like that." Jahcoozi is on tour promoting their sophomore album Blitz N Ass, recently released on A Sound/Rough Trade. Full of booty-moving, floor stomping grooves pared with intelligent lyrics, the album continues their exploration of modern dance styles. Standout tracks include "Style," a devastating critique of the overly-fashion conscious, "Rainbow Colored Rizzla," a critical comment on homophobia in the dancehall reggae community, and the lead track "BLN," an ode to Berlin seen through London eyes. Last year Jahcoozi played a couple of sold out shows in Tel Aviv, but this time around only one show is scheduled which is sure to be packed, after which the trio returns to a hectic schedule of shows around Europe in support of their new album. "A lot of people in Israel are open to things from Europe," explains Gerlitz. "Dubstep, grime, a lot of people know about it. It's not mainstream pop, but they play it a bit on the radio." Barlizay, Thursday midnight with an opening DJ. Tickets can be ordered by calling 03-6878090 or 052-6725745 and are NIS 70.