Monday, January 13, 2014

Tel Aviv pumps up the volume with its first mass dance-music conference

Anat Rosenberg/HAARETZ

Photo by Tomer Appelbaum
Tel Aviv may feel the ground rattle this week, but not because of an earthquake, shifting tectonic plates or other force majeure. What’s likely to cause a temblor or two is the city’s first mass mainstream dance-music conference and festival, sure to include even more thumping bass lines and heart-pumping beats than the party-hearty, sleepless metropolis is accustomed to on any given weekend.

Tel Aviv Volume, a three-day, four-night affair, was spawned by Adam Yehiel, 36, a Jerusalem-born DJ and entrepreneur who’s been on the international club circuit and music scene for more than 15 years.

Yehiel sees himself as something of an electronic music envoy, cultivating connections between Israel and the larger digital music industry by encouraging cultural exchanges, performing in Europe with other Israelis or bringing peers from overseas to Tel Aviv – and now with Tel Aviv Volume, which he says will be an annual event.

“We’re here to open more channels and to broaden the ones that are there,” he said in a recent interview at the festival’s Tel Aviv office. “Israel is a major player today in the house and techno and trance scene around the world, and also in multiple subgenres, and we’re here to increase the volume on that from there and from here, both internationally and locally.”

Yehiel’s latest venture is a natural outgrowth of his musical path, which began early on. “I grew up as a child surrounded with music,” he said, describing how his father, Raoul Yehiel, helped create one of Israel’s first television shows for popular music, the “American Bandstand”-styled “Lahit Barosh.”

“As a child I remember bouncing on the knees of Ofra Haza, Yardena Arazi, Rita,” he said, ticking off the names of three local pop divas. “Being in my father’s studio daily, I remember seeing him working and preparing music and clips at home with VCRs and all kinds of tapes we don’t have anymore. At the time it was new, and that was my initial jump into music.”

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