IMPORTANT WAX: Vaadat Charigim - "The World is Well Lost"

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Vaadat Charigim
The World is Well Lost
First 100 on clear aqua splash wax
Label: Warm Ratio
Release Date: January 21, 2014 (vinyl)

There are some amazing things happening in Tel Aviv these days. Followers of literature have no doubt heard, and hopefully read, the Tel Aviv-based short story writer Etgar Keret, whose surreal writing calls to mind what would happen if Kafka were a jester. Last year, Vaadat Charigim ("Exceptions Committee" in English), the Tel Aviv trio of Juval Haring, Yuval Guttman and Dan Fabian Bloch, release their first album The World is Well Lost, which has just received its vinyl treatment stateside by Warm Ratio Records (facebook). 

Lovers of shoegaze and drone will feel right at home in Vaadat Charigim's luxuriant tunes. Opener "Odisea" begins with a buzz before opening into a melodic line surrounded by cascading feedback. There's a lot of pulp in the record. Producer Kyle "Slick" Johnson (whose previous production credits include Modest Mouse, Wavves, and Cymbals Eat Guitars) worked with the band, recording in a Tel Aviv apartment. And the result is a magical garage sound with jutting guitar riffs jabbing out of your speakers as Juval Haring's soothing baritone keeps melody the central focus. You can hear the great shoegaze bands of the late 80s and 90s leaving their fingerprints throughout the record. "Kezef al Hamayim" rips a page from the Cure's playbook while muddying up the venerable British band's instrumentation with a hyperactive guitar solo.

Indianapolis based Warm Ratio's packaging is highlighted by the clear aqua splash wax. The packaging is a simple jacket, but not much else is needed with the fantastic covers.

Having listened to this record several times after seeing WLFY amigo Brett McGrath playing it on repeat on Spotify (always a great way to discover new artists), I immediately thought that this was going to be one of those records that sound even better on wax, and I haven't been disappointed. The drone and buzz of The World is Well Lost is best served on your favorite turntable with those lovely hisses and pops adding even more texture to an already beautifully nuanced album. 

The group is heading to the US this spring, playing SXSW and some other dates in support of their record.

3/13 Austin, TX – Austin Psych Fest Official SXSW Showcase (Hotel Vegas)
3/15 Austin, TX – Burgermania III at SXSW (Hotel Vegas)
3/16 Hot Springs, AR – Valley of Vapors Festival
3/17 Indianapolis, IN – Joyful Noise Records Space
3/18 Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
3/19 Cleveland, OH - Mahall’s
3/20 Philadelphia, PA - Kung Fu Necktie
3/21 New York, NY – Piano’s
3/22 Brooklyn, NY - Silent Barn

Perhaps the best part about Vaadat Charigim for American audiences is their ability to feel both familiar and different at the same time. The video for "Ein Nehama Ladoachim," directed by David Michael Shachar, shows the band playing in Dizengoff Center in Israel. Juval's disaffected gaze, intoning the lyrics in front of a Hello Kitty facade could have been ripped from the Golden Age of 1990s Slackers. The ambivalent and alienated track is dreamlike and distant.

The traces of the influence are there, but the language barrier (for anyone who doesn't speak Hebrew) gives the listener more time to focus on the music as an entire organism rather than something that's somehow divided by different intentions. In fact, it's the beautiful solidarity of The World is Well Lost that makes it such a fantastic album and one that you should own. 


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