Red Axes – THE RANSOM NOTE MIX
Red Axes have been orbiting our radar – or rather our ears have been orbiting their musical sphere – for a while now. A project created by Tel-Aviv Based producers & DJs Dori Sadovnik & Niv Arzi, Long-term collaborators and previous band members of the post-punk Red Cotton band, after releasing several EPs the pair finally released their debut LP entitled 'Ballad Of The Ice' earlier this year on the excellent I'm A Cliche. Which is what got us really excited… so we asked them to join the Ransom Note mix series. And we're very pleased they did. We needed to find out a little bit more about them;
For those who've been living with the lights off, can you tell us a bit more about who you are and what you do?
We are Red Axes, coming out of Tel Aviv. We like long strolls on the beach and weird robot music.
Tell us what Ballad Of The Ice is all about. What was the blueprint for the album and what are you hoping people take from it?
After a long time doing music together as Red Axes we felt ready for an album. There was no blueprint, but we did want to create something that is loyal to our sound but that can be played at the comfort of your home to take our music out of the strict territory of clubs. What people take from it is something you cannot control – it is completely subjective.
Who would you say are your greatest influences? Are there any parts of the album that were particularly inspired by certain artists?
When you do a cover of a Bauhaus song, it is pretty clear that the dark side of the eighties is something we feel strongly about. There was a strong scene in Tel Aviv in the eighties, a lot of legendary clubs and bands like minimal compact, chromosome, jean conflict etc. But we also have influences stretching from rockabilly and punk to electronic music of all periods, and we think it is audible in the album. We also got into the whole Western music thing while working on it, so you can hear that as well.
What's the Tel-Aviv music scene like? Are there many other creative types out there doing similar things to you?
Yes, there are a lot of parties, talented people and a bubbling scene. Tel-Avivians always liked parties, it is a very hedonistic city. A lot of DJs from all over the world come here regularly. But the best thing you can do is come and see for yourself.
You've already released a steady stream of EPs, what made you decide that it was time to put an album together?
It just felt right.
How does the balance between you work? Do each of you have set roles in creating a track or do you work things through together from start to finish?
No set roles, we just go with the flow and jam together until something good comes up. We like playing the instruments more than sitting in front of the computer all day long.
How would you best describe the Red Axes sound? Is there anyone that you find yourselves being regularly compared to?
As we said before, our sound is a combination of many different influences. It is a question that we are often asked but don’t know how to answer it. Once you call something by a name or a genre you limit yourself, so we try to refrain from it.
How much did living in Amsterdam play a part in your musical development?
It had a very big role in our musical development. Being alone in a city that we don’t know with new people and energies was very important for us to grow up sonically. From sonic youth to sonic people.
When you were growing up, who were your first big musical icons? Do any of them still inspire you today?
We had a lot of different icons, from Lou Reed and Iggy Pop to Israeli singer Arik Einstein. All of them still inspire us today of course.
Do you have a favourite track on the album?
It changes all the time, it depends on where we are, how we feel. We kind of like the album as a whole but there is something about “Papa Sooma”, maybe because the singer Abrao brought something of himself into it, that makes it unique to us.
Who would you most like to share a stage with this year?
The Rolling Stones are coming to perform in Tel-Aviv. We wouldn’t mind sharing a stage with them.
What's next for Red Axes?
Touring Europe and later on America, getting old and eventually dying.
And now for the mix q’s… let's get the mix on first tho…
Where was the mix recorded?
At home in Tel-Aviv with our home equipment.
What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?
While lying on a sea mattress in a pool full of sharks.
What should we be wearing?
What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location/system/format.
There’s no place like home.
Which track in the mix is your current favourite?
What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?
There’s too many, but you should listen to the I’m A Cliche show on Rinse every other week. Also, we really liked Ivan Smagghe and Nathan Wilkins NTS radio show.
If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?
Danny Bar, an Israeli DJ who died a few years back, was a very good friend of ours but unfortunately we didn’t have a chance to play back to back. He was pure talent and a big inspiration for us.
What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?
Pioneer 100 cdjs, thechnics 1210ak2 and an old mixer. Was always this setup.
What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?
Everything in between.
What were the first and last records you bought?
First record was Jesus and Mary Chain – Psycho Candy. Last one was Rodion GA – The Lost Tapes. (Great reissue of Romanian artist recordings during the communism time!)
If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?
Those kind of tastes that makes your tongue feel like a dry towel
If it was an animal what would it be?
One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?
Every record has its moment.
Anything else we need to discuss?
Red Axes have just released the video for their new track 'The Watkins', watch it here.
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