A resident from The Block in Tel Aviv steps up.
Back in 2008, a user named braker on the Wave Music forum told the site's community about his mission to create a one-of-a-kind mixer. He explained the three-year process behind developing it, which involved meeting with sound experts like David Mancuso, Gary Stewart and Alan Feirstein in New York, trialing all of the high-end DJ mixers on the market, and eventually settling on the design for the Traxx1 rotary mixer. When he was done, the mixer was installed as the centerpiece of The Block, a Tel Aviv club that many people say has one of the best—if not the best—soundsystems in the world. It's also the club where Avihay Partok is a resident DJ, and the club where this week's RA podcast was recorded. Partok, who also has a hand in bookings, has become an integral part of The Block. "Many said before me that it is one of the best clubs in the world and that it has one of the best soundsystems ever constructed," he says below. "I am not going to argue with that." It's from his base there that's he's built a DJ career that sees him play at Israel's leading venues, as well as famous European clubs like De School and Berghain, where he now plays regularly.
Partok is a DJ who seems to enjoy exploring techno's many facets, but on his RA podcast he chooses to focus on a particular part of his range: the music he plays to open a party. What that means to him is rich, detailed and evocative tracks that put people in a semi-psychedelic headspace for the night to come.
What have you been up to recently?
I moved from Tel Aviv to Berlin not too long ago, so most of my efforts lately were focused on that. I've been searching for a flat here and navigating through the fun and exciting German bureaucracy. Actually, my boyfriend and I just found a place and I am writing this from our empty apartment on our very first day here.
How and where was the mix recorded?
The mix was recorded at The Block using the custom-made mixer Traxx1, three CDJs and one turntable. This booth is my haven and the most natural place for me to play. Also, recordings from this mixer sound warm and immense. I recorded the mix in two separate sessions during the daytime at the empty club, and brought a few good friends with me along with some pizza and wine. The intro was recorded in a third session at the same booth. It is part of the first hour of my opening set for Jeff Mills when he played at The Block a couple months back.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
I love playing at parties from the very beginning, waiting patiently for the first beat and building tension slowly towards more layers and content. This set was inspired by these first hours at a club. There are some all-time personal classics here, some of my favorite producers and a lot of emotion.
One of the tracks in the intro is from Psychic TV's Electric Newspaper series that they issued with a statement saying, "The raw materials, loops, sonic maps and trance routines included may be listened to as a Kaotic entertainment; as a navigational exploration of brain and expectation; or as a resource to be sampled, reworked, adjusted and processed by other individuals for their own personal works and their own ends." I hope I made Genesis P-Orridge proud. This mix was recorded before I heard the terrible news of Genesis being diagnosed with leukaemia, and I wish her a swift and full recovery.
Tell us about The Block.
It is quite an amazing club, consisting of three dance floors, Block, Squat and Lounge. Many said before me that it is one of the best clubs in the world and that it has one of the best soundsystems ever constructed. I am not going to argue with that. My fellow residents are some incredible DJs, and lately the parties are becoming even longer. Two months ago The Block held its first festival inside the club, which went on non-stop for 55 hours. It was the club's most ambitious production to date, and the opening of a new chapter in Tel Aviv's nightlife. There are more events like this one coming up in 2018.
How are things generally in the Israeli dance music scene at the moment?
Things are really thriving in exponential levels. There are more clubs and scenes outside Tel Aviv now, and in Tel Aviv it is heading towards full-on rave mode seven days a week, with parties meeting late daytime on a regular basis. There are many upcoming talents, more festivals and outdoor events, and I actually think the scene reached a peak it hasn't seen since the late '90s.
What are you up to next?
I'm looking forward to settling into my new place and getting back on track, buying new speakers and getting my turntables and records from Tel Aviv. There are also some very exciting gigs coming up and two shows at The Block next month, including a long event at the end of the year. Besides that, I'm planning to catch up with many friends here in Berlin and to do some proper partying.