Artist: Schmuel & Friends
Title: Future Sound Of Israel EP
Label: Alternative Route
By: Nick Bower | 18 July 2003
  • A: Ellyott/Choopie/Schmuel - Homelands
  • B: Schmu-el - Don't Hesitate, Acetate

Schmuel & Friends "Future Sound Of Israel EP"

Out Now on Alternative Route

Schmuel Flash is perhaps one of the biggest producers to emerge out of Israel in some time. As part of the The Flash Brothers alongside brothers Ilan and Reuven, he has accumulated releases on a dozen or so labels including Silver Planet, Hooj and many other of the leading outlets. As a solo producer he has has several releases on Bedrock, all receiving heavy rotation on both radio and in clubs, and this 'Future Sound Of Israel EP' is yet another big release from him, where he allows some of his friends to showcase their talents to.

'Homelands'. A track in honour of the annual dance festival? Who knows if Schmuel Flash and his friends, the acclaimed DJ and producer Choopie and Ellyott (aka Dream Poets) got together and wrote this after a day trip to Hampshire's Homelands event, but I'm sure this would go down a storm there no doubt. Things Kick off with a steady 4/4 beat and soon after an imposing, echoed and deep male vocal sets the mood, the odd wailing guitar and various percussion dance around in the background, gradually building up and lending the track real presence and atmosphere. In drop guitar strummed-like synth stabs and the vocal taking the track up to a breakdown with softer synths and harsh, distorted, almost metallic-sounding electric guitars. These fade and the beat comes hammering back in to great effect and drives through to the end. A track that manages to offer everything bar the kitchen sink - funky basslines, percussion by the bucket load, lighter stripped down touches and deep dark driving moments that offer a very atmospheric end result.

The menacing and dark vocals return once again on the Schmuel penned flipside of the 'Future Sound Of Israel EP' announcing "Don't Hesitate, Acetate". There's certainly very little hesitation where this track is concerned, as old skool shuffled percussion slips in quickly followed up by a very tight 4/4 kick, synth washes and percussive bongos all wrapped around a deep, resonant overall sound. This track really does build...and carries on building, adding more and more elements into the mix, before stripping everything back to the bare bones of just the powerful deep vocal and echoed bassline. This reverberates around and builds up to the break which sees the full mix of percussion, bassline and kick drum gel together nicely until the end of the track. 'Don't Hesitate, Acetate' is one of those tracks thatjust begs to be heard in a club environment - or on a seriously hefty sound system - to bring out the true power and scale of the tune.

All in all the Schmuel and Friends provide a good little offering here, showing the deep textured sound which continues to come out of Israel. Alternative Route once again proudly fly a flag for diversity - proving that they're not afraid to experiment in terms of the varied sounds coming out via the label.

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