For the past two years, Israeli music label MikelaBella Records has made a startling impact upon an already well established scene, an achievement as respectable as it is not easy. However, the musicianship and technical experience of its owners and participants speak for exponential amounts of time beyond oven that.
MikelaBella's philosophy is one of unification rather than classification and their showcase of styles reflect this. Having featured releases under the genres of Electro, House, Techno, Dubstep and many more, the common interest and criteria for the label's artist is one of quality emphasis and attention to detail. Every artist packs years of personal music experience under their belts, both on the dancefloor and in the studio, as DJ and more.
This label's latest release ‘New Life New Vision’ by Kukan dUb Lagan encapsulates these ideals and philosophies perfectly. Showcasing a dozen tracks which hail from a rainbow of eclectic musical genres from both the traditional and experimental spectrums of sound, yet belonging to none. The most important aspect, and well worth emphasizing at that, of this release that truly moves it onto its own level is its utter lack of sterility and banality. "Kukan", despite its subtle electronic nature, feels alive, generated directly in your immediate environment or between your ears. It is this aspect which elevates music, and specifically this stellar release, into true artwork masterpiece status. After you have listened, you will understand to the fullest just what that means.
Track by Track:
Colazione Dalla Nonna
This intro piece sounds like something that came out of a smoky jazz blub or reggae bar more than a "traditional" electronic music piece. However, the digital elements show themselves before long, making this an overall appropriately enjoyable introduction to the rest of this album.
This track is like an iced drink on a hot summer day. Chilled out, yet refreshing and condensation-inducing, "La Vita" is built of crisp urban percussion elements, a warming bassline, and minimal synth effects accompanied by live horn sections. This genre-breaking arrangement has the precision of a studio-built track with all the atmosphere of a live music performance.
This old-timey intro belies a following procession of glitchy drum work resting atop a soothing sub bassline more felt than heard. Reggae guitar stabs quantify background wah pedals and bluesy saw waves and subtle synth arpeggios. Funky and eclectic, this piece combines all the best pieces of retro flavor with ultra-modern techniques and electronic styles.
As the name implies, this is a neuron-tickling arrangement of off-timed drum and bass works. Cowbells clang out head nodding beats to the tune of a heady bassline and mid-range riffs which order up a dancefloor shaken, not stirred. Masterful piano work distracts you from the subtle changes in percussive filtration and glitch placement.
The Re-Turn of the Master
Immediately noticeable is a crunchier-than-normal bassline which contrasts nicely against crisp, clean hihats. Roughly a minute later, the beat is in full swing, using clever amounts of reverb and panorama which implies spaciousness. Beautifully affected digital strings echo and bounce about, giving this reggae-esque track a slight touch of Eastern vibration.
Minimal urban beats paint atmospheric soundscapes of smoky relaxation and musical marriage of East and West amidst a jungle of percussive groove. Pitch-oscillating resonance drifts between left and right as a masterful brass section plays its way from the hinter ground to the fore. The bassline definitely earns this track's name, with an echoed piano adding the cherry to this sundae.
This track picks up the tempo a tad. Bass drops and a lightly housey drum sets progress with the chugging rhythm of a choo-choo train while dirty filtered synths build in intensity. This is one that will get you out of your seat hand help you break free of the roots you've gathered. Instruments both analog and digital make this piece a fruitful collusion of wide ranges of musical spectrum.
SunSet with MikelaBella
Cacophonies of blended daily noises throw your perceptions into short chaos before surgically realigning them with well-placed rhythmic repetition and harmony. Expertly panned Latin guitars influence duets against jazzy string melodies. A bit of brass improvisation rounds out this piece to the fullest, creating an atmosphere somewhere between a smoky blues club and a spring mushroom garden.
This masterwork of electro glitch seems parented by a wedding of analog synth bass and housey-reggae percussion. The bleeps are tasteful, well-timed and never overused. The musical progression is smooth, reassuringly leading you into worlds of retro synth sounds which never remain the same from second to second, panning their oscillation rates at regularly chaotic intervals.
New Life New Vision
This track is obviously a piece with a meaning and dedication behind it. At once noticeable is the attention to clarity and quality of each of the sound elements. Bass, percussion, and lead fit amongst each other comfortably and with plenty of breathing room to spare. A live-feeling conga and bongo session is the highlight of this piece, slipping you completely into the groove.
L'illusione del Capitano
Squelching tape delay punctuates the sections of this track, making it a department boutique of altering moods, all glued together by a bellows-like bass and guitar using small touches of distortion. Medleys of influence abound here, from eastern European organ, winds and brass from even further, and Dubstep percussion from the concrete jungles coexist in smoky harmony.a superb way to end this album.
Mastered by Jeff Lipton at Peerless Mastering, Boston, MA, USA
Assistant Mastering Engineer: Maria Rice
Peerless Mastering • www.peerlessmastering.com
Artwork & photography by Kris Northern @ phidelity
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org - www.phidelity.com
Marketing & PR by Triskele Management
www.triskelemanagement.com :: email@example.com
Bookings and Managment by MikelaBella Records
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
phone: +972 (0)50 4001441
MikelaBella Records is a record label based in Jerusalem, Israel. established in the beginning of the year 2007, The label has been started birth by Itay Berger a.k.a Kukan-dub-lagan/Raijin Gaijin with a goal to push forward new & original sounds , from some established names as well as up and coming ones.
The label showcases a wide range of styles-from Techno, house , electro, and dub to any electronic style, while keeping the quality value high.
Our Artists are not only producers but also established and experienced DJ's, with hundreds of performances under their belt. Our Artists include Indepth, Nadav Agami, Raijin Gaijin, Kukan Dub Lagan, Kukangherita Sound System , Bes & Chris Volt, Side-B , Eiji Shibata, Eastern Spirit ,Master Margherita and more...
the label is managed by ITAY BERGER.
Is the project of Itay Berger. Itay is 33 years old and comes from Israel. He has been listening to electronic music since he was 16 years old. He spent over 3 years working as a sound engineer in one of the top sound and light companies in israel. His decision to make music was strongly influenced by his trip to Ibiza in 1997-8 where he visited Juan's (Muses Rapt) studio. At that time he also started to dj in Israel and abroad at mostly underground parties . During his travels he also played in Cusco, Peru as well as in New York along with Total Eclipse.
Itay's general musical influences are wide-ranging His journey into chill-out djing started in 2002 in Israel. During that time he was also signed by a UK techno-house label (www.klubdj.co.uk) under the name DJ Itay for a year and flew to Japan to play at parties in Osaka and Kyoto. Returning back to Israel, he enroled to sound engineering college for one year and totally commited himself to music composition. Drawing from his djing experience, his early family musical influences as well as his own musical background he created his chill-out project: KUKAN-DUB-LAGAN. It is a combination of three separate words: KUKAN, which means "space" in japanese; DUB which represents the music style; and, LAGAN, comes from the word "ba-lagan" which in hebrew means "chaos". The debut album of Kukan-Dub-Lagan "Life is Nice" has been released by Candyflip-Records/Greece(2004).His 2nd album "Step ina Rasta Step" been released on his own label "MikelaBella Rec(2007).His unique music style can be best described as psy-chill free dub. In simpler words "sunshine music for smiling people"!!