quami & the halvoth
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quami & the halvoth

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Band Alternative Hip Hop

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With a limited pop music market in Israel, its not surprising when a DJ decides to venture into other musical realms. Dori Ben-Ze'ev has gone back and forth between radio presenting and jazz recording since the '70s. Shock jock Didi Harari has released at least three discs of cheeky Mizrahi hip hop. Proto-new wave act T-Slam, which mixed '70s guitar rock with avant-garde synth pop, grew out of collaborations between Army Radio personalities Dani Bassan, Izhar Ashdot and Yair Nitzani. Now 33-year-old Ayal "Quami" Friedman is joining the fray with his new band, Halvot. Part rocker and part rock presenter, Quami manages to straddle both worlds extremely well. "I don't think I could live without both," he tells The Jerusalem Post. After entertaining the idea of becoming a singer-songwriter in his teens, Quami landed what he calls his "childhood dream," a three-and-a-half-year stint working in radio behind the scenes for his mandatory army service. Toward the end of his service, he and friend Liron Teeni used their time in the studio to record several pilot episodes for a hip hop-themed radio program. One of them was picked up by the station in 1996. Esek Shahor (Black Business), Israeli radio's first strictly rap-oriented show, quickly became the hub for a blossoming cultural movement. Quami started rapping himself, and his industry clout - combined with the flow he displayed on the demo tapes he circulated - landed him a gig as part of the Booyaka trio, one of the formative Israeli rap ensembles. Alongside MC Kottage and Shabak Samekh alum Nimrod Reshef, Quami and Booyaka released their influential eponymous album in 2002 and toured extensively behind the tongue-in-cheek product. Once Booyaka ran its course, Quami was ready to regroup. He ditched Esek Shahor and began hosting a program called Hakatzeh (The Edge), his main gig to this day. Airing twice a week on Galgalatz, Hakatzeh is the only program on the pop-friendly station that isn't bound to a playlist. "When I started doing the show seven years ago, I signed a contract with the man who was in charge guaranteeing me full creative control," says Quami. "That's the reason I do the show. I'm not a control freak, but I have to be in full control of the music I play. It doesn't pay much, so I do this solely for the sake of my soul - it couldn't be any other way really." Hakatzeh covers the gamut of all things fringe. "It has punk rock, it has drum and bass, punk-funk, post-funk, groovy beats, dark ballads - all kinds of stuff," he says of his selections. "I love many different styles and genres, so I try to combine them all in the show." Quami returned to rap performance for 2005's satirical Everybody's Got the Answer, his solo debut, but Hakatzeh remained his focus until recent months when he formed the Halvot. "It's natural as an artist to look back and say, 'Okay, this thing was great for its time, but I'm in a different place right now,'" he reflects. Compared to his debut, Quami claims that his newly released disc with Halvot "is much more of a band album - it has rock and roll, jazz, R&B, punk and funk - so it's kind of like my show, the only difference being that I rap on it." The album's first single, the hit "Pop War," has resonated well with listeners and industry professionals alike. It is appears in heavy rotation on Channel 24 TV and is played often in clubs and on many radio playlists. In addition to some potential hits, the Halvot album also sports some less marketable deep cuts, including a love song about lesbians and an epic, seven-minute, Second Lebanon War-themed jam with Rami Fortis. "I've definitely evolved," says Quami. "The main difference is that when I did the first album, I was alone. But with the new album, I came into it with five more people who were all on the same page with the same goal. So it's much more powerful musically and lyrically, as I see it. Also, we created it with much more confidence. It's much more, in a sense, what I want to be." - The Jerusalem Post


Discography

2010 - BRAND NEW LP! - no title yet - TBR
2007 - POP WAR lp
2004 - EVERYBODY'S GOT THE ANSWERS lp

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Bio

quami de la fox is 1 of 2 dj's/hosts of KZRADIO SHOW( EDGE RADIO ) the most known ( in israel ) and eclectic home for alternative music of all (or all we have time for) kinds & genres in israel and the world , every sunday & tuesday between 22:00-24:00 on galgalatz 91.8fm israel , a show that's been running for more than 10 years now. before that he was half of the duo who brought the 1st radio show ever in israel that was dedicated to rap & hip-hop ( "esek shachor"). after interviewing the Beastie Boys during their visit to israel in 1995, quami found himself doing a freestyle with the beasties live on the radio. the enthusiastic beastie legends took a short cover version he did in hebrew to their "so whatcha want" hit, and they've put it as a hidden track at the end of their "ROOT DOWN EP", and later on it could have been heard on their "SOUNDS OF SCIENCE" dvd. Quami , a radio dj, but mostly a Musician & Rapper , in hebrew, released his 1st solo lp 2005, and than formed "QUAMI & THE HALVOTH"- a band inspired at first by the beastie boys & the fugees, trying to bring his then hip-hop live to stage. exposed to and exploring new music obsessively from all over the world, quami felt hip-hop was not enough, and with his bandmates started merging more and more musical influences to his rap: from blues to indie pop, from electro to jazz , and it'll be safe to say that their 1st album as a band, called "POP WAR" was a sort of a mixture between LCD SOUNDSYSTEM and THE ROOTS. it was released in 2007 to much critical acclaim, and included a sort of a cover version to LCD's " LOSING THE EDGE". continuing their passionate search for their next level, the HALVOTH recorded a brand new album produced by non-other than local POST-PUNK & ROCK'N'ROLL LEGEND : RAMI FORTIS ( ex MINIMAL COMPACT member ). with Fortis, the halvoth's new songs and sounds have become a rare beast : quami - now not only rapping but very much taking inspiration mainly from chuck d, outkast, common, the notorious b.i.g. and the beastie boys leading a band that combines influences by FAITH NO MORE, THE SUPER FURRY ANIMALS, HOT CHIP, JAY REATARD, LCD SOUNDSYSTEM , THE FUTUREHEADS, QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, GRANDADDY, WHY? , THE CLASH, IMANI COPPOLA, SYSTEM OF A DOWN , MAGAZINE & SOULWAX all at once. The Halvoth are : Eyal "Rambam" Satat ( of Punk-Rock'n'roll band "Force Of The Mahataz" ) on drums & voices, on guitar & singing : Ron Bunker ( Ex-Midnight Peacocks, and nowadays with BALKAN BEAT BOX, Gabriel Belachsan, Aviv Guedge ) , Elia Shenberger on bass, Nimrod
"The HalvaDon" Talmon ( from ska band "Hoodska Explosive" & Ex-Zvuloon Dubsystem ) On keyboards+Brass+Singing+Productions , and on turntables/decks/samples Junior Jones aka Da King Of Toyz ( Ex Parvarim Refugeez ) .

thanks for reading!