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Israeli dance music duo Red Axes found their debut India trip both enriching and enlightening

In the 10 days they spent in India recently, the one thing that will stay with Israeli dance music duo Red Axes is — not surprisingly — the blaring honks from motorists everywhere they went during their debut trip.

Dori Sadovnik and Niv Arzi recall their journey, saying, “There was so much to see and feel. One thing that shocked us, and stayed with us is the way of using the car horn.” But to be fair, they do agree that there’s quite a bit of shared ties between India and Israel that brings Tel Aviv closer to Bengaluru. They speculate that there is the allure of spiritual depth found in both cultures. “Both countries also won independence around the same time — India in 1947, and Israel in 1948,” the duo says. In the country as part of The Wild City’s three-city Various Artists tour series, Red Axes delivered psychedelic-tinged disco-influenced house and dance music that even borrowed from post-punk, as best popularised on songs like the hypnotic ‘Sun My Sweet Sun’ and the calming ‘Papa Sooma’. The duo — who were originally part of rock band Red Cotton — says about their influences, “We like many different styles of music and elements, there are so many albums that we see as influential that if I need to choose one record, for example, I’ll chose something like, Tribal Drift.”

While in Delhi, the duo made the most of their time and collaborated and recorded music with Indian classical artistes. They look back at the process as something that “really inspired” them. The duo adds, “The mix between Indian music and western music is something that we really like. The process was natural and very friendly. We worked with an amazing flute player named Ajay Prasanna, and a young tabla player called Sarthak Pahwa. We also got a chance to meet and record with sitarist Shubhendra Rao and his wife Saskia, who plays the Indian cello.”

What impressed them about these particular musicians was that outside of being performers, they were taking music ahead in the country in different ways. Red Axes adds, “They are also doing a lot for music education in India.”

Taking back these sonic ideas as well as inspiration for future material, Red Axes — who have played some of the biggest stages in the world, including UK’s Glastonbury Festival — are plotting the course for the rest of the year now. “The plan is to keep turning up and playing around the world. We should have some new original material coming out this year, a few new collaborations and exciting releases on our label, Garzen Records,” the duo says.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 1:44:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/noise-and-normalcy/article22919286.ece

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