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Quiet and Free

img  Tobias

There's lots of things you can do to wish someone a happy new year: Send them a card. Drop by and have a cup of tea. Take them for a long walk on January 1st. Grundik and Slava have decided to be a little bit more festive this time: They are offering an entire album for free download!

Grundik and Slava started out in 1993. Previously, Grundik had been playing with a group called Blackness, which boasted the original line-up of drums, cello, "overdrive guitar" and "radio". He bumped into Slava Smelovsky at University and it didn't take too long before they were building tracks together as a duo. What happened then is still quite inexplicable and the two like to use the term "chance" quite often. Why did the decide to use electronics, instead of continuing with acoustic instruments? Chance. Why did they release "For Birds and Electronics" as their first commercial release? Chance. And, most importantly, how ever did they manage to grow from those simple beginnings into one of Israel's most respected experimental outfits, composing music for films and theater productions, enriching museums with their installations and offering workshops and consulting on "sonic arts and audio technology"? According to them, nothing was planned and everything just happened naturally by doing what they do. For sure, they profited from an approach which sat nicely between the "serious arts" and contemporary underground culture and could be appreciated both on the intellectual and emotional side. And their openness and eagerness for collaborations has also introduced them to a wider audience. But it still doesn't explain the success of a music that is quiet, fragile and occasionaly at the verge of disappearing.

To find out what we are talking about, you can now move over to Israeli page "qube" and download a concert by the duo from the year 2004 in Jerusalem. For their performance at the Teatron Hen, they invited visual artist Yair Reshef (whose video you can download as well) and singer Victoria Hanna, whom the New York Times decribed as being "blessed with one of those voices what demands full attention". Grundik and Slava themselves, meanwhile switched from laptop to radio and from guitar to electronics in a show which featured trance-inducing musical mantras, reminiscent of Indian ragas and haunting, spooky vocals under subtle layers of sound. However delicate, there is a lot of movement and dynamic in the music, which goes from a whisper to a murmor, before falling back into a deep slumber. Especially the 22-minute "Track 4" is a lucid dream full of feavery visions and disturbing memories.

Of course, 2006 will hold many more surprises and quite a few them will come from Israel. This free treat will prepare you for what's to come. So go out for a walk, have a cup of tea and enjoy the wonderful musical card Grundik and Slava have sent you.

Homepage: Grundik + Slava
Homepage: Free Grundik + Slava album at Qube

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