Adar Alfandari – Gold Dust
What are they teaching kids over in Israel? Clearly, they’re providing them with some kind of intense musical learning from a very tender age. At least that’s the conclusion I’ve come to judging by the large number of high quality, varied songs I’ve received from Israel artists of late.
“Gold Dust” starts with an understated, handsome acoustic guitar line, before launching into a kind of indie-rock tango. The lyrics deal with fragmentation and restoration using kintsugi art as a metaphor. Kintsugi, I’ve now come to learn, is the ancient Japanese art of repairing broken pottery while using powdered gold or silver.
The production of “Gold Dust” is also easy on the ears. The tango of the verse breaks into a large, melodramatic chorus that takes little away from the flow of the piece. The vocals are placed gently into a mix that should play well on the cheapest car stereo, or the more expensive hi-fi system.
Adar Alfandari’s careful work has no doubt paid off.
KIAR – Hydra
In the realm of pop music created based on the vision of Bjork or post-Kid A Radiohead, all sounds seem to have liquified and set into a gentle process of disintegration. This is also the first post-rock direction, in which, truly, the guitars, drums, and the rhythms they play no longer have much in common with the sound with which, before, they were associated.
KIAR produces this kind of sound. “Hydra” is, at the same time, new-age music, and some kind of punk provocation. The layered rhythms, like a kind of hip-hop marimba, share DNA with Massive Attack’s early records. Big, scary synth sounds float in and out of the mix like a giant mist being blown over a tall mountain.
Finally, the focal point of “Hydra” are the vocals. Their throaty, wounded lament is treated as a sort of bewitching hymn. KIAR’s ghostly art is likely to thrill many of those that remain enamoured with 90s trip-hop and electronica.