Popkomm Showcase Provide First Overview Of Pop Music In Israel

Israel is certainly one of the world's most fas-cinating countries, not only politically and socially, but also with its ex-tensive cultural tradition. The art scene in Israel is internationally re-nowned, Israel's films regularly collect awards at festivals, and in recent years a diverse and exciting musical environment has developed, with an increasing impact beyond the borders of this small country. The Pop-komm Showcase on 10 October at Club 23 provides an opportunity to review the ambitious pop scene in Israel. The fifth Popkomm is taking place in Berlin in 2008, from 8 to 10 October.

Yoram Ben-Zeev, Ambassador of the State of Israel in Germany, is de-lighted with his country's presence at Popkomm, which also includes its own showcase: "In the year that marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel I am particularly pleased that Popkomm is enabling the public to appreciate some of the many facets and the ex-citement of the young music scene in Israel. I hope that the concerts will encourage as many people as possible to want to learn more about the country and its creative activities."

Harald Wolf, Mayor of Berlin and Senator for Economics, Technology and Women's Issues: "Israel is a country that makes a major contribu-tion to the world's culture. The Popkomm Festival provides visitors from Germany and from many other countries with an opportunity to experi-ence Israeli music live, and to recognize the many different musical in-fluences."

The evening will begin with Amit Erez. Inspired by Joni Mitchell and Nick Drake, the singer/songwriter from Tel Aviv began writing songs during his three-year military service, and he subsequently studied com-position in Rotterdam. His first songs tended to be sparse, and accom-panied only by an acoustic guitar, but over the years Erez has developed a modern and almost orchestral sound for his intense songs sung in English.

However, Amit Erez has enjoyed even greater success as a guitarist and songwriter for Eatliz, the second act in the showcase, which is appear-ing for the first time in Germany. The band is led by Guy Ben-Shitrit, whose ambitious plans to create a kind of Israeli supergroup brought together established musicians, including the female vocalist Lee Triffon, who has already tasted success on the folk scene. With their highly de-veloped music skills Eatliz, whose name translates as "slaughterhouse", play rock with complex structures, influenced by hardcore as well as by prog and mainstream pop, that has made them one of the best known bands in Israel.

Sabbo & Kuti Electric Jam, who will conclude this brief journey through the Israeli music scene, are in direct contrast to the art rock of Eatliz. With Hebrew lyrics and a style that is influenced by a combina-tion of reggae rhythms, funk, dubsteb and world music, this couple has acquired hero status in Israel's party capital Tel Aviv. For some time now their audacious mixture of genres has earned them a reputation in other countries too, and audiences responded enthusiastically to Sabbo & Kuti at this year's Sziget Festival in Hungary.

There will be another Israeli showcase on 8 October when Asaf Avidan appears at White Trash, where he can be expected to perform some of the numbers from the album released this year and entitled "The

Popkomm Festival
With 400 acts from 35 countries the Popkomm Festival is the showcase event with the highest international participation in Europe. Musical styles range from rock and pop to hip hop and chansons, as well as the classics, punk and electro. Last year's Popkomm Festival attracted 85, 000 music fans. It is taking place at 25 official locations. The centre for the Popkomm Festival is the former brewery known as the Kultur-brauerei in Berlin Prenzlauer Berg. With its exhibition, conference and festival, Popkomm is being held from 8 to 10 October. The DJ Pop-komm will take place on 11 October.

As an international platform for the music and entertainment industry Popkomm at-tracts thousands of trade visitors from all over the world. What makes Popkomm so unique is the integrated concept of this event. Popkomm is the only industry meeting place in the world that combines a trade show with a conference and a festival. Con-sequently Popkomm is a major attraction not only for its core business of music but also because it brings the representatives of other sectors such as concerts, the mov-ies, mobile entertainment and advertising to the exhibition halls in Berlin. The fifth Popkomm is taking place in Berlin in 2008, from 8 to 10 October. It is organized by Popkomm GmbH, Berlin. This year the partner country at Popkomm is Turkey.

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