While staying in Tel Aviv we’ve had the pleasure of getting to know the wonderful Raw Tapes family. We say family before label, because that is what they are. All the artists on Raw Tapes are close friends, as well as colleagues, each bringing their style, technical abilities and personality to the Raw Tapes collective. Everyone knows and works with everyone. Hanging, vibing and seemingly non-stop jamming. As well as doing their own thing, the musicians have multiple collaborative side projects, or just pop up as a contributor on a friend’s latest release.
It all sounds incredibly fun and the tightness and rhythm of the label is audible in their colourful catalogue, indicative of the hub of musical activity going on in Tel Aviv right now. In this brief introduction film to the collective at the heart of this, we spent the afternoon in their Florentine-neighbourhood studio with Mo Rayon and Rejoicer from Raw Tapes as they made a freestyle beat for us and had a chat about the label.
Who’s in the crew?
Probably the most internationally known of the Raw Tapes artists, they’re made up of: Raw Tapes founder, keys wizard and all round smiliest man, Yuvi aka Rejoicer; honey-vocalled soulstress and saxophonist KerenDun; and jammy basist, Beno. They’ve been concocting a delicious blend of beats, reggae, soul and jazz since 2011 and were invited to play live by Boiler Room and recently supported The Gaslamp Killer in London. Their most recent release ‘From The Tree’ epitomises the vibe of Tel Aviv: a warm, chilled and emotive blend. They’ve got some amazing releases up their sleeve so watch this space.
The essence of the Raw Tapes family and closeness between the artists is best epitomised by their “super band”, LBT (Live Beat Tapes). It’s a 12+ person band of all the musicians getting together to make sweet sweet music, with a loose rotation of singing and jamming across all their productions. There’s keys, drums, bass, sax, rap, soul and even scratching. It’s basically everything you want from music spread across a big band, who get together to jam and play crazy shows together. We want in.
PlayDead are kind of weird and we love it. A sort of punked-up psychedelic beat and synth project, from Rejoicer and Shuz, the mask-wering duo manage to simultaneously confuse as they groove.
KerenDun & Echo
Yey4Ney is a totally unique collaboration between KerenDun and Echo, “using whatever toys we had around” and layering each of their original vocals over Keren’s hypnotic beats. Untraditional hip-hop at its very best; psychedelic, playful and powerful.
Whilst one of the younger members of the collective, Mo is not to be underestimated. A producer and rapper with a voice that’s lower than the dead-sea, Mo’s been making his own beats and waxing lyrical across a host of Raw Tapes collaborations since he was a teen. He’s also started two labels in Tel Aviv: the electronic multi-mooded outfit, Fufi Moods and a crew-project with his UK bass and dancehall-loving homies, Tamvin. Check it.
Percussionist, Aviv Cohen’s unique project, Sol Monk, is fundamentally a beat project but incorporates world melody, trumpet and features the vocals of fellow RT artists, KerenDun and Echo, in such a way that this project is so much more than just some beats. Each track tells its own story and takes you to a different foreign-feeling land. Divine.
Raw Tapes are celebrating their 8th birthday this Saturday in Tel Aviv, with an incredible 12 hours of music kicking off in the day, from all the musicians and fellow local DJs, including Fortuna Record’s Turtle and Hectik. Taking place at the loft of Abraham Hostel, Tel Aviv. Tickets available here.
To listen to more of the music from other brilliant artists on Raw Tapes check their bandcamp.