Friday, January 13, 2012

Jewish Music Fridays: haMAKOR

This week's Jewish Music Fridays features a band that continues an established trend of musical performance from the well known and talented Solomon family: haMAKOR.

For those who don't yet know, the lead singer/front man for haMAKOR is Nachman Solomon, the younger brother of Yehuda Solomon (Moshav Band) and Noah Solomon (Soul Farm) and son of Ben-Tzion Solomon (Yeshiva Diaspora Band).

I randomly discovered their first CD, while in Manhattan Judaica browsing for something new to listen to. "The Source" had an interesting green tree cover image, but what took me by surprise was the little white label stuck on the front that said read:

I was already a fan of Moshav Band and Soul Farm, so I had to check it out.

The first thing I noticed was that Nachman's voice is similar to Yehuda's in many respects, as can be seen in this video of him covering Moshav's "Eliyahu Hanavi:"

I also found a few lyrics of some songs to be a little similar to a couple of Moshav Songs. But beyond those connections, haMAKOR has their own unique sound and groove. I happen to be a big fan of electronic/techno music, and haMAKOR is one of the few groups out there to use this in a very attractive and engaging fashion.

Unlike other performers who might overly rely on synthetic beats too much to the point of annoyance or in a way that ends up sounding like 80's music, haMAKOR utilizes electronic music along with their instrumental performance to create hypnotic, mesmerizing and otherwise really cool sounding songs.

Like Moshav Band and Soulfarm, haMAKOR's music is a mix of Jewish music, secular-ish songs that can have a spiritual theme or message, and some tracks that sound entirely secular. It's a nice mix, and provides a good bit of variety for fans.

The one thing I didn't like about "The Source" was that I felt it was too short, with only 8 songs. However, while researching for this post, I learned that they released a second album in 2010 called "World on its Side" and I didn't even know it!

I don't yet own it, but I plan to purchase it soon. I have listened to several of the songs that are posted on their Myspace page, and it sounds like they're continued to mature and develop their style. I particularly like "Shir Tzion:"

One of my favorite songs from their first album is the title/first track, "The Source." The intro is pretty funky and very unique. You've got to hear the recorded version to get the full psychedelic effect.

"Memories" is an example of one of their secular songs from "World on its Side"

In the end, haMAKOR is a rockin' and welcome contribution to modern Jewish music, that helps diversify the types with their unique combination of synthetic beats with the more typical guitars, drums, and bass.

For anyone who wants to check out haMAKOR's music, which I highly recommend, both of their full albums can be found on Myspace: 1) "The Source" 2) "World on its Side."

Further information about haMAKOR can be found on Facebook and Myspace.

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