Puerto Rican Nights
Essay Recordings AY CD 18 (EAN 881390201822)
Release date. September 2008
A true "Aha!"-experience: When Boom Pam appeared on the European stages 3 years ago, one wondered at first about finding the right category to put their creative output in. All those questions quickly disappeared! Instead of pigeon-holing Boom Pam in terms of what has been known so far, it was time to look at their style from a new perspective. The broad variety of artistic outpour and interpretation got labelled as surf and there we go. But has anyone ever lost a thought about where the Surf-music comes from and why their glissando sound just like Arabic quarter tones? How about this: Dick Dale's father was an immigrant from Lebanon, Israel's next door neighbour… But hey, let's not start to wander from the subject, since our main focus is to announce the new album of the Tel Aviv native band that has been cult for quite some time now.
Boom Pam succeeds once again in uniting different worlds: Their music is a prolific dialogue between East and West with an almost hypnotizing virtuosity and eloquence that moves you. Each member of the band is truly unique in his own way and plays an equally important part within the exchange of their artistic personalities. Uri Brauner Kinrot has an unfathomable ability to revive past surrealistic sounds and to create a magical atmosphere with lots of soul. In any case, the fifties never sounded better when Uri combines Surf with the sound of the Orient, when he let's them mingle only to resurface again as something newly-arranged. Uzi Feinerman, whose sharp mind never stops improvising with more and more original and unique ideas, brings an element of roughness and shoots out melodies in the most unpredictable places. Dudu Kohav on the drums fascinates and excites by uniting soul and technique, bringing out the maximum from the minimum. Each stroke gets its own dedicated treatment and ample space to fill in with the right groove. In the centre, whether sitting, standing or dancing, you will find Maestro Yuval "Tuby" Zolotov, stable as a rock. He is an island of sturdiness and accuracy which brings it all back home and fills you with warmth and tenderness that only his low and deep tones can make appear. In the end we're left with the music. The sound echoes through our skulls and hearts after everything is over.
Not many bands become a legendary while still being active and get to know the true promise of being considered a cult, an event, a big party blending different cultures and styles. When the Boom Pam fab four play together, the music has no limits, no boundaries and is free of any classification.
The Boom Pam tale began when Uri, Uzi and Tuby studied music at the Thelma Yellin Art School in Givatayim where they experienced a wide variety of genres, such as: jazz, rock, blues, folk and classical music. Each one of them individually was a member in a line of groups and their stage experience started cranking up heavy mileage. Uri played in numerous indie rock bands. Uzi, as a Dylan fan, was involved in, amongst others, many folk bands and Tuby played in classical orchestras.
At the dawning of the new millennium Uri and Uzi moved into an apartment in the southern part of Tel Aviv where they sometimes held sessions together. At other occasions they played music separately but nevertheless, these long jams always extended into blurry nights, mixed with unique colours and sounds, and often resulted in winning over some good friends to their musical hotbed of talent. Tuby took part in some of these jams and the base for the band was set. In November 2002 the band was officially established as a trio with Uri and Uzi on guitars and Tuby blowing on the tuba and banging on a bass drum. The trio started performing and Uri came up with the name Boom Pam, derived from the name of the hit single by Aris San, a legendary Greek singer and guitar player. Rumours of the new magical group started spreading around town and the young band started to earn an enthusiastic group of followers. Their sound also reached the ears of the Israeli Prince of rock, Berry Sakharof, and Boom Pam were invited to play the warm up slot for his mythical band, Minimal Compact, at their comeback show in 2003 at the Tel Aviv Symphony Hall. Later that year, Dudu Kohav joined the band on the drums. Uzi had known him from different jazz combos where they had played together. Dudu completed the puzzle and brought with him his vast experience as a talented drummer, as well as his expert knowledge of heavy metal, jazz, folk and Jewish music.
The cannonball was ready to be launched and the band left a big impression wherever they went. The crazy combination of Rock'n'roll, Surf, Greek music, Balkan, Arab and the devil knows what more did its thing with much intensity and no compromise. From that moment on, the melody was unstoppable. Boom Pam recorded, along with Berry Sakharof, the Aris San hit and made a big impact on the radio charts in Israel. Shantel, the wizard of the new Balkan music scene, invited them on his tour. They played the opera houses of Berlin and Frankfurt as part of his Bucovina Club line-up. Boom Pam became an instant hit and performed to ecstatic crowds.
In 2005 the band recorded their debut album at Babylon Central studios in Germany and signed on to Essay Recordings. Twelve wonderful songs produced by Shantel, two bonuses (Hatul VeHatula & Adi Adios) and a video were put on plastic. The CD went straight to the European World Music Charts.
Boom Pam started touring Israel extensively and played some unusual wedding parties. Every few months the quartet toured through Europe and the US and was invited to play the Womex in Seville - a highly respected festival. The mixed crowd of music professionals and Sevillanos went mad at their show and they were dubbed one of the three best acts. A performance at the Olinkan festival in New Mexico in front of ten thousands of people showed them that Mexico is one of the most thriving places for Surf music. They played the famous Montreal Jazz Fest in Canada and in South Africa at a party in front of 2000 people. The band's performances soon became an event not to be missed.
The new Album
A great and joyous professional phenomenon has been building here for a long time and is now at its peak after a short break and an industrial silence that only warmed up the volcano and increased a sense of yearning. Boompamania is back with a second album made entirely of cover versions of the beloved tunes they've been playing in their shows throughout the years, and which are now officially being released for the first time. Boom Pam dig deep into their authentic artistic roots and pay tribute to their musical influences. Whether it's their great version of "Shayeret HaRochvim" with Maor Cohen, originally a song by Dudaim, the Israeli folk pioneers, which they turned into a country/surf version where the savage prodigy of Israeli rock fits like a glove onto Boom Pam's quick and evasive hand. Or, for instance, "Marilyn Jones", a song from an Israeli Hassidic comedy, with the charismatic singer Dror Ahava Romem, where theatrical motives come to the fore, sticking tight to the groove of Tomer Yosef's (Balkan Beat Box alumni) song "Ani Rotze Lazuz" (I want to move).
There are three great tunes which Uri found on his parents' old cassettes from the time they used to dance in a Balkan dance group. The first is the classic dramatic opener, "Ushest", and the second is "Krai Dunavsko", in which they flow freely from Greek music to dirty Rock'n'roll. The third is "Chervoné Coralé". They bring Dick Dale back to centre stage with their speedy version of "The Wedge".
"Longa Sultaniyegah" is an old Turkish song which Uzi learned from his brother. "Ay Carmela" appears in two shiny versions, one instrumental and the other with singer Italo Gonzales. The song was part of the soundtrack to the Israeli movie "Comrade", the part starring the band is included as video bonus. The Dalida video brings a connection to their first album where the song was featured. Not to forget the instrumental version of the song "Boom Pam" that has become their personal trademark.
Boom Pam on Boom Pam: "Our mix really describes Tel Aviv ... a place where people from all over the world meet. This sound is a sharp cocktail of all the different styles that collide here. And we try to bring them all together."
Press reactions on their live shows & album
As the story goes, Dick Dale helped invent surf music by borrowing from traditional Middle Eastern melodies thanks to his Lebanese dad. Boom Pam, located down the coast in Tel Aviv, helps bring it all back around, showing themselves to be one of those spirited 'try anything once' groups in the vein of such legends as Mano Negra and Babasonicos. But groups like Croatia's Bambi Molestors would be a closer comparison, combining their love of surf with Eastern European styles as well as Mediterranean and creating a unique new stew. The killer ace in the hole for Boom Pam is a slightly unexpected instrument -- tuba, which can get a bad rap in the States for its ungainly size and association with bad high school marching bands. But Yuval "Tuby" Zolotov rocks on that thing, providing the hyperspeed bass lines that drummer Dudu Kohav matches, on top of which guitarist/singers Uzi Feinerman and Uri Brauner Kinrot go to town. One could easily imagine Mike Patton wanting to recruit these guys for a backing tour just because, in that they have all the freneticism and skill needed to do the goods. One song aside all the tunes are originals (the one cover being "Gross," a traditional number that sounds like a groovy self-playing home organ instrumental from the late sixties reclaimed and powered up); while specific lyrics are the exception than the rule, the singing on songs like "Otto Chiconi" and the saucy "Let Me Touch" is strong and vibrant, suiting the music. Some moments are so great that to describe them removes the charm, but hearing things like the crystalline guitar breaks on "Souvlaki #3" and the brawling tuba kick on "Dalida" are just wondrous. Smoother songs like "Weijl" and "Love Song" cut back the tempos for an equally good time for the slow dances. ~ Ned Raggett, All Music Guide for Billboard Magazine
Colin Bass aka Sabah Habas Mustapha (of 3 Mustaphas 3 fame): Twanging guitars of Tel Aviv mix heady Eastern Mediterranean cocktail: At first was the word around the night-clubs and parties of the Tel Aviv music scene. Boom Pam. Two duelling electric guitars, pumping tuba and rocking drums. A Balkan, Jewish, Greek, Mediterranean mix-up bringing the crowds onto the dance-floor with the atmosphere of an alcohol-soaked wedding party. Word-of-enthusiastic-mouth brought them to Germany, playing alongside future producer Shantel. Back home again, they continued playing weddings, bar mitzvahs, parties and clubs throughout the country, while their cover version of the Greek hit "Boom Pam" - with Israeli rock star Berry Sakharof - became a mega-hit. Success hasn't fazed them - they're still wild, weird and wonderful. Boom Pam to you.
Banning Eyre on their first US gig at New York's Globalfest (www.afropop.org): „I was bound to the basement for more exuberant fare at the hands of Boom Pam, an Israeli quartet who blend Balkan and Mediterranean songs with surf rock aesthetics with sometimes ecstatic results. Yuval "Tuby" Zolotov puffs out tuba bass lines, providing both a sonic and visual anchor for the group's fanciful outings, which alternately crank and drag, always with an air of nonchalant high drama. The group's vocals are minimal — so most of the melodic action goes down on the two guitars. Luckily Uzi Feinerman and Uri Brauner are up to the task, whether picking out fierce, pointy melodies or thrashing into wall-of-sound passages. As much fun to watch as to hear, Boom Pam has the stuff of a great future on the North American festival circuit."
Uzi Feinerman: Guitars, Banjo, Harmonica & Vocals
Yuval "Tuby" Zolotov: Tuba (Tuby plays B&S tubas)
Uri Brauner Kinrot: Guitars, Saxophone & Vocals
Dudu Kohav: Drums & Percussion
2. Shayeret HaRohvim (feat. Maor Cohen)
M: Shimon Israeli/L: Naomi Shemer/Copyright control
3. Krai Dunavsko
4. Marilyn Jones (feat. Dror Romem)
M: Dov Zeltser/L: Amos Etinger/Copyright control
5. Ay Carmela (Instrumental)
6. Ani Rotse Lazuz (feat. Tomer Yosef)
M & L: Tomer Yosef/Nanadisc
7. The Wedge
Dick Dale/Markmill-Music Guenther Krusemark
8. Longa Sultaniyegah
Trad. arr. by Uzi Feinerman/Edition Essay
9. Chervone Corale
10. Boom Pam
Music: Panos Gavalas & Stelios Zafiriou/Copyright control
11. Ay Carmela (feat. Italo Gonzales)
All songs arranged by Boom Pam & published by Edition Essay (if not indicated otherwise).
ABOUT BOOM PAM
Although the band has only been established since 2003, BOOM PAM already have a cult following in Israel. Their cover version of the Greek song Boom Pam, performed with rock star Berry Sakharof, was a massive hit that flew straight into the Israeli charts in 2004. It had already been a hit in 1969 for the Greek singer Aris San, who emigrated to Tel Aviv in the fifties and was one of the first to use E-guitar for Greek music.
Meteoric as their career may have been, BOOM PAM did not simply appear out of nowhere overnight. It all began when the band’s guitarists Uri and Uzi moved into a flat together in the south of Tel Aviv and started experimenting with oriental guitar sounds. After a few guitar-fuelled nights and some compositions of their own, they called up their old school friend Tuby, a superb tuba player, and asked him to listen to what they’d come up with. Tuby didn’t hesitate for a minute. A new band was born Once they had enough pieces, they played their first gig in February 2003. All they needed now was a name. Just one week before the gig, they hit on BOOM PAM in homage to musical rebel Aris San. Even now, their eyes shine at the very mention of his name.
For a year, BOOM PAM performed as a trio in clubs and at weddings. Tuby played bass drum as well as tuba. But with his pedal foot threatening to take on a life of its own, the band started looking around for a drummer. And what could have been more obvious than to ask another old friend? Just one phone call to Dudu Kohav was all it took to persuade him to leave his spiritual mountain retreat near Jerusalem and join them in their musical experiment: “I haven’t a clue what you’re up to, but why the hell not?” The new band member didn’t have much time to get to grips with BOOM PAM’s repertoire, because their first foreign gig was already booked: Shantel, who had discovered the trio on one of his visits to Tel Aviv, had invited them to perform with him in Berlin. And so, as though they had been this sort of thing all their lives, they stormed the German State Opera House on the boulevard of Unter den Linden, transforming it into a hot and sweaty dance-fest that had the entire 800-strong audience on its feet.
Press reactions on their live shows ”The reaction of the audience was expressed by howling, breaking plates, hand clapping and mental dancing on the dance floor.” Haaretz ”I can officially say that Boom Pam’s live show will drain the juice out of you and kick you topless out to the street with a smile all over your face… Boom Pam play exquisite Balkan-surf-rock fuelled with a nuclear energy reactor that even “Vaanoonoo’s” (Israeli nuclear ex-cone freedom fighter) balls would have blushed being close to them.” Walla
“Probably the hottest name in town.” Time Out Tel Aviv
“Boom Pam succeeded in dismantling the audience
from an anthropologic point of view and kicked them out of their chairs
on to the dance floor on to a voyage.” Zman “This
time, Bucovina Club has a visit from our partner city of Tel Aviv. And
what a visit! Boom Pam was the sensation at this year’s
Museumsufer Fest. Just imagine two guitarists playing Balkan brass band
sounds sweetened with Jewish melodies and driven along by a drummer and
a tuba player. The whole thing smacks of the typical surf guitar sound
you might expect to find in a Taratino film. They put Alexis Sorbas
through the mangle, and they don’t spare the Middle East
either This incredible cocktail is played with precision and heightened
to the point of ecstasy – which is no less than
you’d expect of the Bucovina Club, really. This is how a
Tarantino soundtrack would sound if the film were set in the Balkans.
This band plays music that goes straight to the heart.”
Yuriy Gurzhy (DJ, Russendisko) saw Boom Pam perform in Tel
Aviv: “When they started playing a few hours later, I was in
the audience in front of the small stage. Most of them were young
people talking in Russian, Hebrew and English. The Boom Pam sound was
an exotic mix of Arab and Greek pop, Gypsy music and surf. Within
twenty minutes, the audience was dancing. Although the music was
entirely instrumental, three Russian punks with lurid hairstyles and a
bottle of vodka were singing along enthusiastically. The atmosphere
just got better and better: Vodka and Red Bull was the cocktail of
choice. The dance-floor was heaving. Some dancers couldn’t
even fit in, so they clambered onto the stage.”
(from his blog of 16.03.2004)
"...When they slide in and out of 'middle eastern' scales and
in to waltzes that ride the tuba bellowing um-pa-pa um-pa-pa, the dance
floor goes nuts galloping along the beat and jumping up and down like
pogo sticks. After two encores BOOM PAM leaves the stage with a
'lehayim'." Fader Magazine U.S.A
(from an article about the Bucovina Club @ Schauspiel Frankfurt in Germany)
Uzi Feinerman: guitar, banjo & vocals
Uri Brauner Kinrot: guitar, saxophone & Vocals
Yuval “Tuby” Zolotov: tuba
Dudu Kohav: drums & percussion