Shlomi Aber Discusses DJ Life in Tel Aviv During Missile Strikes

The deadly missile strikes rocking Tel Aviv and Gaza this week have many across the globe shocked, but Israeli DJ/producer Shlomi Aber says the violence is “normal.”

“For us, it’s the usual for us. Same old crap,” Aber told Big Shot as missiles flew over his home just outside of Tel Aviv. “Basically we’re in the middle of this mess. It’s normal.”

Aber, who has released tracks on Ovum, Desolat and Cadenza and runs his own imprint, Be As One, was among the thousands who hunkered down at home as the missiles flew overhead last week between Gaza and Tel Aviv. Aber lives about 10 minutes from the Gaza border in a seaside Israeli town.

“It’s really mad right now over here,” he said. “It’s been a messy situation with Gaza and the Palestinians. It’s going crazy over here. They’re shooting missiles over Israel right now.”

Despite the deadly military violence, Aber was focusing on re-scheduling a U.S. tour that was cancelled because of Hurricane Sandy, as well as several new releases, including an upcoming track on Desolat’s five-year anniversary album.

“Whatever is going on in Gaza, it’s crazy,” he said. “But people are not really influenced by the political situation and they don’t let it interrupt their lives. You get used to it after so long.”

Shlomi Aber’s “Foolish Games” feat Möggli is out on December 10 via Be As One Imprint.

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Photek, RJD2, Nero Raise the Roof at Together Festival

The weeklong Together festival took another step forward with a dizzying week of concerts, parties, workshops and film showings that drew an estimated 20,000 fans to dozens of venues across Boston and Cambridge.

With an impressive lineup that included Photek, Dubfire, Nero, Starkey, Poirier and RJD2 (pictured above), to name a few, the festival — now in its third year — forged several new partnerships with top EDM labels that bodes well for the event moving forward. Tastemaking labels !K7 and Ninja Tune threw showcases while Astralwerks used the festival for its New England premier of The Chemical Brothers’ acclaimed new concert film, Don’t Think.

“Execution, attendance and affiliations (with labels) put us at a whole new level in the pantheon of music festivals,” organizer David Day said. “We’re starting to reach a Sonor or Mutek and we want to be in that conversation of great city festivals. We want to pride ourselves on doing really innovative stuff. We want to be an international festival and we’re a year away from that.”

Organizers estimate that more than 12,000 fans attended parties and concerts at more than 30 venues, while thousands streamed in and out of the Together headquarters all week to attend technology panels, participate in workshops, grab free swag and watch more than 70 local, national and international DJs spinning sets that were livestreamed globally.

Together also shifted its headquarters across the Charles River to Central Square in Boston’s sister city of Cambridge, where officials welcomed the event with open arms and pledged even broader support next year.

Among the highlights were Kill the Noise and Feed Me at Royale, Joe Nice and Kahn at ThinkTank, Poirier and Mala at Good Life, New Orleans’ Big Freedia at Brighton Music Hall and Photek at Machine.

“Hearing his incredible breadth of knowledge in the mix was awesome,” Day said of Photek, whose set was completely packed. “He dropped a couple classics, dropped some brand, new bass music stuff and kind of got it on. That was a great night.”

The Together Center was open for 10 days and the event wrapped up Sunday with a closing party headlined by RJD2. After catching up on some sleep, Day said he’s already thinking about ideas to expand for next year.

“We’re really excited to keep going,” he said.

Image by MGMphoto

Adam F Talks Dubstep and Fusing Genres

As Adam F heads to Miami’s Winter Music Conference and ponders his next studio move, the British DJ/producer/actor says he’s planning to build off the recent successes he’s had with harder acts he’s worked with, like Nero, The Prodigy and Pendulum.

“I’ve spent a lot of time on the label (Breakbeat KAOS) for quite a few years, developing a few acts that we’re real excited about who are now part of the worldwide scene,” he tells Big Shot. “It’s time for me to get back in the studio myself.”

With some prime slots at WMC, and a looming U.S. tour with Caspa later this year, Adam F has given fans a taste of where he might be headed, musically, with his latest single, “When the Rain Is Gone,” a pop-laced, dubstep jaunt, driven by a euphoric hook.

But as the indie mogul who signed Nero and released Pendulum’s first platinum album, Hold Your Colour, he admits a deep dedication to the EDM’s harder, more rock-oriented edge.

“It’s just a different part of me,” he explains. “I like that epic sound — that really edgy, in your face, raw sound, like The Prodigy. It gives me a chance to be less organized within the music. It’s more free to go left with it when you work with people like Prodigy, which is exciting. And obviously people like The Prodigy, they’ve got such a big influence on the dance scene, that you feel you have to step up to the plate to deliver.”

“That’s what dubstep has done. It’s regenerated people’s minds to want to work together. It’s created this new bass music where everything is fused together.”

Adam has also worked with some of hip-hop’s top acts as well — from Redman to Pharaoh Monche to De La Soul to L.L. Cool J.

The L.L. Cool J collaboration, which was on LL’s 2000 smash, G.O.A.T. (The Greatest of All Time), was a true partnership in every sense. Adam not only produced the track, but did backing vocals and spent extensive time in the studio in New York with the rap icon, even rounding up girls from the streets to sing backup.

“That was fucking crazy,” he recalls of the experience. “I grew up with those guys, went to see them. I remember when Def Jam did that tour with Run-DMC, LL, The Beastie Boys. I went to that. So to work with him, that was an amazing experience.”

The hip-hop and rock influence has always made its presence felt in Adam’s music. With dubstep blurring the genre lines even further, he’s heading back into the studio, where he says he’ll toss convention aside and meld several styles into what he hopes will be a new electronic masterpiece.

“The new generation of music lovers and club goers have been less genre-specific than ever before. I’m excited now that so many new genres are fusing together,” he says. “And unlike any other time in club music history, people are going into clubs and hearing such a cross-genre of styles.”

“That’s what dubstep has done. It’s regenerated people’s minds to want to work together. It’s created this new bass music where everything is fused together,” he continues. “That’s why for me, it’s a good time to come back in to make music as Adam F, because it’s quite open now.”