The rising Israeli artist spans decades and continents.
On the surface, Moscoman, real name Chen Moscovici, appears to be another Berlin transplant done good. He just released his debut album, A Shot In The Light, has formed a sturdy partnership with OYE Records and spends his weekends DJing parties in far-flung locations. Dig a little deeper, though, and the Tel Aviv-native emerges as something more, the frontman for an accomplished live band and an A&R for a label repurposing the melodies and memories of the Middle East for the modern dance floor.
Moscovici's Disco Halal imprint, home to Tel Aviv producers Autarkic, Naduve and Red Axes, as well as global correspondents Mehmet Aslan and Selvagem, "hails from beneath the minarets of the Holy Land." In an illuminating interview with Kaput, he says his deep interest in music from the region—be it from Israel, Palestine, Turkey or Syria—stretches beyond personal curiosity. "To contribute a small part to the rapprochement is already worthwhile," he said on the project. While Disco Halal has mostly been reserved for other artists, in 2017 Moscovici will release one 12-inch a month, all produced by him, on his newly minted Treisar label.
His RA podcast sums up his varied musical interests, mixing up post-punk, mid-tempo zoners, edits of music from Russia and Brazil and his own unreleased material. Early in the mix, we hear the voice of Leonard Cohen, the late icon of Jewish cool, a nod to the rich tradition Moscovici aims to advance. If you're in London on January 28th, you'll be able to catch Moscovici playing the Disco Halal showcase at Pickle Factory.
What have you been up to recently?
I'm pretty sure 2016 was my busiest year ever. I've been everywhere, played amazing gigs and met incredible people. I think this is the year that I realised it fucking pays off to work hard! I can't even begin to explain this feeling, nor want to. I put out my first album, on ESP Institute, formed a three-man band and made a lot of music. I have no idea how I managed to get it all done, but I'm glad I did.
How and where was the mix recorded?
As a producer as well as a DJ, I think that you should use your skill set, so my podcasts I make in my studio with my gear and the tunes I'm using, and of course there are a lot of live recordings from parties. I don't really like recording a mix on CDJs, but I do make vinyl-only mixes. In this case: Ableton and some delays.
Could you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
Straight-up is not really my kind of mix, so I try to be diverse and captivate the listeners. Plus, I have tons of music and if this is not the place to play it out then I don't know where is. There's some really cool new music on it, some old stuff, some tributes. It feels like a real sum of an era, but with an eye on the future.
You plan to release one 12-inch a month on a new Disco Halal sub-label. That sounds like a tough undertaking.
It's not a Disco Halal label per se, but I am using the same infrastructure to release only Moscoman music. It's a hard job, but I've got great people to help me, such as my manager, Disco Halal's designer and OYE Records, so the hardest part for me was to make the music. But that's my passion so I'm down for it, and those who know me know that I love being in the studio as much as I love travelling, so I've got a sick amount of tunes and I'm sure I'll have more as the year unfolds. Treisar, my new baby, is something I've wanted to do for a long time. I feel that as a DJ looking for music all the time, there's no right time for releases, every day could be good, so why not share my music as well?
Which Israeli artists should we be listening to right now?
Autarkic is the name to put the money on, notwithstanding the fact that he is releasing his debut LP on my label, and it's absolutely brilliant. His live gigs are memorable. Of course there's also Naduve, a star soon to shine, and the godfathers Red Axes, who will always surprise somehow, I'm sure.
What are you up to next?
I think lot more of the same. Planning my dream gigs, US, Japan, Australia and some other exotic destinations. I'm also looking forward to the summer, I've got some sweet live band gigs at DGTL, Primavera and more, and I'll do as much as I can to sleep 8 hours a night.