April 15, 2007

Kurdish Zorna Master Remixed By Israeli DJs

Zadik.jpgZadik Zecharia, who hails from Kurdistan but has lived in Israel since 1950, is a master of the zorna, a reed instrument which sounds like a shriller version of the bagpipes, and which Zecharia wields like a diamond-tipped drill to the skull. Here’s an mp3 of him performing a style of Kurdish dance music called chopie.

Last year, he was exposed to the world via a reissue of a 1980 recording of his music that was released on the Israeli label, Something On The Road. At the end of the record, SOTR tacked on two effects-drenched abstract remixes by local DJs, Gal Tushia and Davis Ovadia, which actually held up rather well in their own right. Perhaps inspired by this, SOTR have now released a whole album of remixes of Zecharia’s work by Israeli artists. As you might expect, some of them merely use the source material as a sampled adjunct to their current favourite beat, bass ‘n’ synth patterns. Others though, engage more directly with it and some interesting pieces result. Here’s a few of them:

Nemoi – basically just a simple repeated guitar phrase with Zecharia’s zorna overlayed as a melody. The whole, though, gels together beautifully and reminds me of Juana Molina sans vocals.

Yayehe Smon – in a moment of true inspiration, this artist contextualizes Zecharia by subtly incorporating the music into a field recording of a Middle Eastern street scene.

David Ovadia – goes in the complete opposite direction to Smon and turns Zecharia’s music into an echo chamber soundscape.

All of these remixes can be purchased as a CD from Aquarius Records, or they can be downloaded under a Creative Commons license from Miklataklim.

Posted by Warren at April 15, 2007 01:49 AM | Electronica