Jumping in to help fill the void is Oleh! Records, "Israel's Music Export Office." Oleh! is not a fannish gossip, releases, and reviews sort of site (though we really need one). Oleh! focused on the business of music and helping promoters and venues outside of Israel make connection, book, and promote Israeli musicians. Wearing my other kippah as (current) co-chair for the Detroit JCC's Stephen Gottlieb Music Festival I'm going to be getting in touch with these folks.
But to the average fan, Oleh! is still a goldmine. Yes it has information about Israeli superstars including Noa, Dana International, David Broza, and the Idan Raichel Project. But did you know that Israel has 7 excellent heavy metal bands? You do now. Oleh! lists Xenolith, Winterhorde, Viscera Trail, Orphaned Land, Midnight Peacocks, Gevolt! and Matricide. Whew. In addition to metal, Oleh! provides information on a range of genres including urban and soul, punk and metal, jazz, middle eastern, instrumental, folk, classical, reggae and funk. While these lists do not capture every band in Israel, it's a fine start for the budding Israeli music fan. I did a quick scan for some of my favorites and found info about Boom Pam, The Teapacks (but not Kobi Oz), Yidcore, Balkan Beat Box, and Hadag Nechash. In bumping around their site I also learned about the Israeli 'psytrance' scene (check out Skazi and Void) and got totally hooked on the "Kasbah Rock" sound of Electra (see below).
In short, where has Oleh! been all my life?
Oleh! just launched recently, so it will be exciting to see what the site matures into over time. For more information, check out the Oleh! website, as well as their Twitter and Facebook pages.
"A small addition to the available resources: Audio Montage - a small record label from Tel Aviv (more of a "co-op" label). A hub for some of my favorite musicians.Thanks Ilan!