February 16, 2005

Bullshit 3 1/4: Israeli 70's Psych Freakout

Israel.jpgLast weekend, I was in Melbourne visiting old friends I haven’t seen in yonks, and making my obligatory pilgrimage to one of the best record stores on this island continent, Synaesthesia Records. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to seriously splurge, but I did pick up this intriguing piece of previously overlooked (except in some psych-geek quarters) album of early 70’s Israeli psychedelic rock.

Up until the late 60’s, domestic Israeli rock was virtually nonexistent; stymied by requirements that popular music was only valid if it “strengthen[ed] the nation’s spirit”. These strictures broke down as the decade ended. In 1969, the first Israeli rock album was recorded and, a year after this, Danny Ben-Israel – who had previously produced Hebrew versions of “The King and I” and “The Sound of Music” – recorded “3 ¼ Bullshit”, a collection of psych-rock driven tracks that occasionally devolved into a chaotic mess of noisy electronics, scratchy acid guitars, and chiming xylophones.

In the context of Israeli music at the time, it was a pretty radical departure from what had gone before. To give you a taste of it, here’s the first (and most chaotic) track, A Different Song. The album can be bought online from Mio Records.

Posted by Warren at February 16, 2005 11:19 PM | World