Die Kvar – EP

As summer knocks on the door, winter’s many studio hours begin to see the light and hit the wax (or just the web as in this case).

This is the first of many recordings made at the Minus Two, the small and bastard son of our very own historic venue/rehearsal/recording studio Koro.
As you might guess by the name or hear by the tunes, the space is much smaller and less acoustic (just can’t beat the wood!) than the former, but still well suited for making loud records. Size and poor acoustics is not necessarily a bad thing. When your ultimate goal is to distort them damn cymbals, that crispy slap-back you get from drywalls at 3-4kHZ can be a bliss.

Back to us, power-violence and grindcore are my home base, and few things can excite me more than making a loud, fast, dirty and violent record. And this is exactly what Die Kvar delivers. Furious Haifa quintet with members from Barren Hope, Sweatshop Boys and other various noize projects that I can’t keep track of.

The main sonic goal of this EP was to get the feeling  you are getting run over by broken tractor, as another one hits you again just before you are able to stand up again.
To achieve something like that, the instruments were recorded rigorously live, as to catch the band’s vibe as a unit. Massive bleeds didn’t scare me here. The exceptions were an addition of a second guitar layer to space it up a little bit and a bass re-amp to catch some of its pedal tone. Room microphones are a fundamental in this EP, since they give a similar tone and colour to all of the instruments. They are blent in some exciters and overdrives to crisp the high-mids of the general sound. I even tried to re-amp the drums mixdown into a distorted bass amp to get that colour, before I realised I already had it all in the source.
That’s it.
Oh, if you’re a label please get this on a piece of plastic. It deserves it.

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Los Kikes – ST 2006 (remix and remaster)

This is definitely one of the coolest projects in my last year. Hayehudonim (or Los Kikes) is one of the first bands I saw live as a teenage punk in Tel Aviv.
Rock’n’roll, punk, d-beat, surf, sludge: they got it all and they blend it exquisitely with extreme high fuzz energy and lo-fi vibes. The only record they ever made was released on CD in 2006 and sounded too harsh to endure an extended playing in most stereos. The record was made by local rock and roll genius Charlie Megira (RIP). The songs were recorded on a Tascam 8-track reel to reel tape (the same one we used for The Orions record) and mixed by Charlie himself.
For the record’s reissue on Vinyl, the band decided it should be remixed. So we found the lost reels and converted the whole session into digital.
What I got were some of the most messed up tracks I ever had to work with. It literally took me ten minutes to understand which track is the second drum channel and which is the Vocal FX. The mixing process main purpose was giving this record’s lo-fi nature a more punchy attitude. Did we make it? see for yourself

LISTEN TO THE WHOLE RECORD HERE

THE OLD VERSION

Krokodil Popular – ST LP

I don’t usually mix stuff I didn’t record, but there are exceptions here and there. 8 songs, very eclectic genre-blending and song-writing, loads of recorded layers: this record was somewhat of a project. This production required a more Hi Fi approach than my usual, so up with full on mixing in the box. I believe I opened a SoundToys Decapitator on every second channel. The record was mastered by Daniel Husayn and released in Levontin 7 few months back.

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Zaga Zaga – ST LP

Second time I record this Tel Aviv based post-hardcore foursome. While the first time we recorded on a tape, this time we went for a more conventional recording. Full instrumental separation and loads of guitar overdubs, all in the awesome Polar studios in south Tel Aviv. The tracks were later on mixed by Jack Shirley from The Atomic Garden Studios (Deafheaven, Punch, Torso and many more)

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The Orions – Lightning Stroke Twice LP

First full length record to be ever released by this instrumental surf-rock bombshell. I’ve got to say that I can never be neutral when it comes to the Orions. Besides being good friends, hey are the first band I’ve recorded and the first band that took me on tour as their FOH engineer.

The making of this record wasn’t a usual one. Despite having zero budget, the band insisted we should record this the analogue way. So after speaking with analogue master Assaf Tager (from band Katamine), we found out a way of making this possible. Assaf had a Tascam 1/2″ 8-track reel-to-reel recorder (owned by late Israeli musician Charlie Megira), and we opted we could make the record inside the Zimmer, a DIY space that used to exist in the south of Tel Aviv. So,after bringing all the gear in (a Mackie 32-8 mixer, a bunch of dynamic processors, reverb units and one Space Echo) Assaf and me recorded 7 tracks on tape (drums summed in 2 tracks, bass, 2 guitars and stereo room).
The process was slow and difficult since we had no way of truly monitoring the recording or actually knowing what we were doing. Since we were sitting in the same room with the band, the only way of shaping the sound was to to record, stop, roll back, press play, listen, draw conclusions, make changes.
Few months later, we met up all at the Koro, to mix the seven tracks into a 2-track reel-to-reel tape. No DAW (or proper recording methods) were used for making this record.
And this is just how it sounds.

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Sweatshop Boys – Demo

Not many engineers would go proud about such lo-fi recording. But I truly believe the dirt compliments those great poppy tunes.
I can’t really call this recording my own. What happened is that I left the microphones on during the band’s rehearsal and came back to pick up the gear few hours later. After a quick listen, I had no doubt it is worth giving it a mix, and taking in consideration the recording wuality , that it was going to be a dirty one. So the 13 recorded songs were kept as a demo as only 2 were released. Hopefully the Sweatshop  Boys are soon to hit the studio and give these songs a cleaner and finer touch. But for time being – Enjoy the basement vibes!

MooM – Second EP

Second recording for my very own  hardcore punk beast. This is one of the last recordings ever done at the Koro. Same drill as the first EP: multi-channel miking on a live recording, live mixed on a Mackie 32-8 desk right into a stereo input to the computer. So again, no post-recording mix, what you record is what you get. Only thing we added later were vocal. And dirt, lots of dirt.

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Almonim Metim – EP

Last recording ever in the Koro and first recording ever for killer hardcore punk act Almonim Metim. At first, this was meant to be a quick demo as I didn’t even set up a control room for this. What I did is I retroactively monitored the recording on my headphones while being in the same room with the playing band. The result turned out better than expected and soon to get a physical release.

PS This is one of my favourites israeli acts at the moment.

released October 22, 2015
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Parve – Stabilité Économique

As this Jerusalem-based duo defines itself, Parve is a jewcy blend of sludge, noise, stoner, drone, improv, shamanism and fear of technology inspired by the cat moog. This EP, soon on vinyl, was one of my last recordings at the Koro. This is also my very first attempt to mix the vocals live on tape with the rest of the tracks. So everything you hear is played live and mixed live with no overdubs.

released august 28 2015


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