SEPOMANA SPOTLIGHT: Yonatan Gat
by Charlie Dulik on April 27, 2015
Posted in: Concert, Eclectic, Funk, Jazz, Rock, Sepomana, World
When people say about music, “it’s way better live than on record,” it’s usually in reference to electronic music, and generally a slight to the band’s albums. While the comment is true for Yonatan Gat, neither of its common implications are. Yonatan Gat is built for high-energy, improvisation-filled concert madness, and their records, like 2015’s Director, reflect this. Director is composed of recordings from a single marathon session as well as rips from live shows.
The album touches on a million influences from Yonatan’s days in the Tel Aviv garage rock scene to bassist Sergio Sayeg’s melodic Brazilian roots, and yet stays true to the mission of being unstoppably dynamic. On a single song, you can hear lyrics in Hebrew, Portuguese and English. As the New York times said, “you might have heard echoes of funk from Benin; Cuban son from Senegal; Chicano rock from Los Angeles; Afro-Brazilian soul from Rio de Janeiro; and the pentatonic and Arabic scales that connect much of the world.” If there weren’t such constant rock-n-roll riffage, you’d be convinced these guys were a jazz band, given how they sounds shift so effortlessly throughout a song.
All of this shines through in their recorded work, but as previously stated, it’s the live show where the jam-packed craziness of each song explodes into chaotic revelry. The band frequently eschews the stage in order to play in the middle of the audience, packing fans around them only to create pandemonium by sprinting into the crowd during hectic guitar shredding—a pretty literal manifestation of their rejection of any musical constraints. The band never plays a strict setlist, instead they pick a song or two, delve into the grooves and get wild. Their virtuosity was enough to earn them the Village Voice’s distinction of Best Guitarist in 2013. Their visceral intensity is unparalleled—Yonatan Gat is what you get if Delicate Steve free-climbed Everest, went on spirit quest in the Amazon and wandered in the Sahara for a month.
They’ve got a new album on the way, self described as, “an absolute brutal record. It’s like rave music but with guitars. No computers, nothing. It’s like the wildest rave you can imagine just played by three guys on basic dinosaur instruments—guitars, bass and drums.” So if you like raves, kick-ass globetrotting guitar rock or just want to see a completely unique, mind-melting show—make sure you make it to Yonatan Gat’s set at Sepomana this Saturday May, 2. In the mean time, check out more of their live shows and a playlist of their recordings below:
What: Sepomana 2015
Where: Wilson Social Space
When: May 2 • 9:30 PM
Cost: $5 in advance, $8 at door —> go/sepomtix online or at the box office
RSVP to the Facebook event here.