In my quest to find happy humanist electronic music that I can get behind, here is my next offering. Let me explain. Since I emerged more or less unscathed from the 1980s, I have gravitated towards the organic side of the musical spectrum. This has sometimes taken me to extremes, as in preferring lo-fi acoustic sounds to anything even remotely “produced.” To my ear, much of today’s dance music and electro-pop sounds generic and devoid of any soul, a quality that, for me, is essential. So off I went in search of electronic music with personality. I recently discovered Boston’s St. Nothing, and now I just stumbled upon Rendezvous.
Rendezvous came into existence in 2003 after Hagai Izenberg (analog synthesizers) met Itai Simon (bass guitar) at the Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music in Israel. They bonded over an interest in electronic music that had more of a “warm and enveloping sound” rather than the harsher, colder tones of today. Having grown up on the music of Pink Floyd and Depeche Mode, these are the more prominent influences, but they’re also influenced by such diverse bands as King Crimson, Coldplay, Jethro Tull, Suede, Portishead, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. They’re inspired by current electronic music coming out of the UK but also the electro-pop of the 1980s. Their music blends electronica and jazz with some experimentation. What’s especially key here is that they record and perform live on analog instruments, rather than digitally with computers, which gives their sound a warmer and more emotionally appealing quality.
Simon has performed with other Israeli bands such as The Relics, Utopia, Missing Points, the Butterfly Effect and SugarPlumBaby. He produced and arranges music and plays bass for various artists, and teaches at two Israeli music schools, Ulpan Le Muzika – Giv’at Brenner, and Beit Ha’noar – Ra’anana. On Rendezvous’ debut album, Another Round Please (2011), they worked with David Bascombe, who has produced and mixed albums for Depeche Mode and Tears for Fears, in addition to The Verve, Kylie Minogue, Moby and Korn. The album was a big success in the UK and Europe, and the single “The Murf” reached number 5 in the UK club charts. The video, beautifully animated by Scott Benson, generated a gazillion hits on YouTube, deservedly so.
This year, they’re gearing up for a new album. In this first single “Dragon Without a Flame” (available as a free download) they collaborate with Los Angeles singer Automatic Toys, bringing a moody alternative rock sound to their electronic soundscapes. It’s a lovely combination. Have a listen.
Here’s a little something from Automatic Toys, who also absolutely deserves a good listen. Their mission is “reliving rock ‘n’ roll with a soulful electronic sound and playing raw music with truthful lyrics.” Nice.
I’m not sure about a release date for the new album. They say “upcoming,” so we’ll keep a close eye out!