Israel might currently be a political hot-potato, but if the world’s more controversial conflicts have one thing going for them it’s that they often breed a generation of musician entrenched in a thriving, and vital, underground music and arts scene. Acollective are a prime example of just that.
Cementing their sound in a London flat before returning to Israel as a band to believe in, sold out tours around the country beckoned and it wasn’t long before they were playing international shows and festivals at the likes of Glastonbury, YNOT, and SXSW.
Their latest Alcopop Records release, Pangaea, is really a magpie’s nest of musical influences, a refreshing trawl through the record shop that pulls in aspects of Sufjan Stevens, Beck, Paul Simon, Radiohead, Dixie Jazz, Japanese Pop, old-school hip-hop and modern-Arab-kitsch. Lesser acts might baulk at the sheer gamut of genre-melding present on this release, but Acollective revel in it, weaving a complex tapestry that still retains a unifying sense of identity that’s never lost across the 12 tracks.
It’s a beautiful release that’s more often than not a celebration of those intricate moments in music – the delicate ‘Custom’ rolls gently along on a pulsating bass drum, slowly churning and evolving into a Lumineers-esque sway-along, whilst ‘Beating Heart Cadavers’ is the exact opposite – a noisy, stamping affair punctuated by distorted bleeps and beats.
Artfully and soulfully realised, Pangaea is the sound of a band arriving – a complex, emotional release filled with charged meanings and exceptional musicanship that spans genre boundaries as easily as it does geographical ones. If there are any more bands this good lurking out in the Middle East, we want to hear them.
– Jamie Otsa
Support Band: Alcopop! Records