Monday, January 30, 2012

Jewrhythmics: Along the Yiddish Disco Axis

How can you not love a band that sings in Yiddish and claims to be "working on the disco-axis Moscow/Tel Aviv." The Jewrhythmics are channeling an early 80's synth-pop vibe that more posture than music. Think Frankie Goes to Hollywood (if you're old enough to remember them and brave enough to admit it. Even to yourself.)

Their first video "Miserlou" makes me want to host a dance party wearing a Daft Punk helmet. For an American it's a pretty strange recording. I've heard a number of different versions of Miserlou, but it's hard to shake influence of the defining (in America) Dick Dale surf-guitar version. Dale's version is warm, organic, and driving, with a pulsing organ and churning reverb-laden guitar.... and no lyrics. Jewrhthmics are glacial, with icy analog-synth blips and chirps...and equally icy vocals. Oh yeah, that's right. The song has lyrics.

Their official bio, from their website....
"Jewrhythmics declare in their Debut Album’s Manifest: „Yiddish is dead? Long live Yiddish!”. The language that is supposed to be dead has been experiencing an amazing renaissance since the end of the 20th in particular outside of Israel. At the same time, also disco music – that easy and danceable genre, which has been predicted the end many times – experiences a revival again. Disco is the one genre that becomes resurrected in new metamorphoses over and over again and proves its extreme resilience in a music industry that spits out new genres and geniuses almost every second day.

For more gloriously weird Yiddish synthpop, check out their website. I can't say that their spacy Chiriribim is a new favorite...but you need to hear it.