The words “hip-hop,” “funk” and ”
Tel Aviv” usually aren’t uttered in the same sentence, but one musician is making sure it will soon become commonplace. Daniel Kalimist has been flying under the radar for some time, DJing at local venues like Pasaz, Teder and Breakfast Club, while self-releasing his own tunes (for free) under his stage name Kalimist K Boog. Through his friends at Tel Aviv-based hip hop and electronic music label Raw Tapes (founded in 2010 and now including a Berlin branch), his new soundscapes are spreading to the underground Tel Aviv beat scene and the rest of the world with the release of an eponymous debut album.
The artist boasts an extensive collection of rare vintage synthesizers (like an ARP 2600 from the ’70s, a model loved by everyone from Kraftwerk to Herbie Hancock and even used to voice R2D2 in Star Wars), drum machines and more at his fingertips. However, K Boog isn’t churning out old school throwbacks; rather he’s dropping grittier, more spirited interpretations that reflect the short attention span of current audiences—balancing tracks with a need to slow down and chill out. And like the best funk songs, K Boog’s downtempo grooves are prime bump and grind ’till sunrise music, letting the bass synths growl and purr. Toss aside all expectations before giving the album a listen (start with “V.S.O.P” and “High for Wu”), and check out our interview with the young producer below.
Do you have background in music?
I first came to love hip hop at age six, maybe. And then I grew up to listen and understand the fundamentals of all of it: the funk, jazz, etc. I have one brother who’s a mad funk bass player, and the other one is a drummer.
I used to play various instruments and [my] passion for collecting vinyls (mainly funk and jazz) and rare synthesizers began at an early age. In 2005 when the dubstep scene was getting shape and recognition, I started producing tunes and DJing across Israel for various dubstep parties with local and offshore established producers/DJs. I also worked and studied sound engineering in Tel Aviv and worked at my brother’s studio in Dumbo, Brooklyn. Since my passion musically was always [funk and jazz], I began the quest for my sound in that vivid arena: bashing the clubs with that unique “on the one” [beat], funk-influenced DJ sets that dwell inwards to the fundamentals of funk.
Who were some of the musical influences that you grew up listening to?
My funk jazz influences? George Clinton and P-Funk, Johnny “Guitar” Watson, Zapp, The Gap Band, Ohio Players, Slave, Pieces of a Dream, Miles, Coltrane, Herbie Hancock…
How long have you been working on your debut album?
Music is a therapeutic practice for the creator and the listener
The tunes from the new album are all from the past year; some were made in late 2013. I put this out for people to feel it—dance, dwell, whatever… It’s all good when you put it out there for anyone to enjoy. Music is a therapeutic practice for the creator and the listener, and that’s what it’s all about.
In the album, the samples you choose are woven so seamlessly with the instruments. How do you like to work them into your music?
I incorporate samples in a subtle way, to give my tunes that room/air and nostalgia I’m looking for, and to let the audience feel my references and influences as a musician trying to achieve a specific sonic landscape.
Based on your own experiences, how would you describe the current underground electronic dance music scene in Tel Aviv?
The underground scene in Tel Aviv is flourishing. In that hive are many, many talented and meticulous producers and DJs. As a country being only 66 years old, the versatility of cultures and influences gives this scene a very unique and unparalleled sound. People like to go out and have fun, as if it is their last night on earth.
Where are your favorite places to find vinyl?
Scoping vinyl is a tough task in Tel Aviv. I like to travel and dig vinyls abroad and also online, but I also keep a warm place for three great shops: Black Hole, Hod Hamahat and the Third Ear.
We have a series called PrivateJam where we like to ask artists what their current guilty pleasure song is, or a track that’s been stuck in their head the past few weeks. Do you have one to share?
Michael Henderson’s “Slingshot” is currently buzzing in my ears. I know him from the days when he played with Miles Davis (as a bass player), and a year or two ago I discovered his albums, which are just as marvelous and unique. “Slingshot” is a proper funk synth jam that is full of activeness and cosmic-ness.
Will the rest of the world be able to hear you perform or DJ soon?
Next month I’m heading to Berlin for a gig at PANKE (29 November 2014), [and I’m] looking for more spots to play in…
Stream Kalimist K Boog’s debut album on Bandcamp, where you can purchase it digitally for $9. We also recommend perusing the rest of the Raw Tapes roster, featuring artists like Buttering Trio and Mad Steve, to find some new gems to add to playlists.
Images courtesy of Raw Tapes