The ennui-shattering beats of Red Axes

Author Il Gurn
Category Columnists, Culture, Town
Date April 24 2024
Reading Time 2 min.

The ennui-shattering beats of Red Axes

In the pursuit of London’s most electrifying event on the evening of April 18th, few might wager that fabric’s notorious, dim-lit basement would top the list. Yet, it was this very locale where the Israeli band Red Axes, the fresh signees of the club’s in-house label Originals, held their exclusive London performance.

The ennui-shattering beats of Red Axes | London Cult.
Photo credit: Il Gurn

Dori Sadovnik and Niz Arzi, whose musical bond dates back to their school days, continue to revel in their partnership with youthful vigor. This vitality throbs through their recent album, One More City, released last yeara manifesto of their matured sound, emerging from a rebellion against the ordinary, a challenge to conventions, and an aspiration to transcend predestination.

The ennui-shattering beats of Red Axes | London Cult.
Photo credit: Il Gurn

Fusing diverse musical genres is hardly anextraordinary feat, yet Red Axesdistinctive panache for blending post-punk with dance beats has given rise to an album rich in melodic variety, brimming with dynamic contrasts, and charged with a desire to transform any instant into a freak show. The robust, cohesive sound of One More City owes much to a variety of production techniques, the spontaneous nature of creativity, and jam sessions with fellow musicians. The recording process welcomed artists from varied backgrounds, including female rapper Janset, Cole Alexander of the American garage rock band Black Lips, and Clams Baker, the frontman of the Londons post-punk band Warmduscher.

From the outset at fabric, the ambiance veered into the bizzarre as a guitarist, donning oversized pink sunglasses, fit for a child or a woman, joined the Red Axes duo on stage, complemented by guest vocalist A.Lonzos presence in a zebra-striped suit and cowboy hat. The sound system roared to life, reaching maxear-distorting, supersonic levels. Amidst lively guitar riffs and a blend of live drums with analog beats, Doris custom bass synthesizer filled the venue with its deep, resonant tones. The lyrics, sharp and incisive, rode the waves of swiftly shifting tempos.

The ennui-shattering beats of Red Axes | London Cult.
Photo credit: Il Gurn

As the concert progressed, only Sadovnik and Arzi remained, delving into a pastime they likely relishspinning acid techno melodies on their analog equipment; this performance, however, structurally and tonally lacked the vibrancy of the preceding acts. The departure of live instrumentation and guest performers led to an unexpected dip in zest, save for the relentless intensity of the sound. In hindsight, reversing the order of the concerts first two acts might have sustained the momentum, particularly as the guest musicians made a comeback for the final thirty minutes. (Their initial abrupt exit left one pondering the unpredictable nature of punk rock performances).

The climax of the evening was Red Axesboldest track Hey, reserved for the grand finale. Following the second chorus, with its memorable lines I had sand in my mouth and my brain was mashed potatoes, I wanted to flirt with you but all that I could say washey, A.Lonzo plunged into the sea of fans, a microphone in one hand, a bottle of spirited liquid in the other, all while his cowboy hat miraculously defied gravity. The crowd carried him in a triumphant lap before returning him to the stage.

The ennui-shattering beats of Red Axes | London Cult.
Photo credit: Il Gurn

Red Axes carried their rhythm to another British city, leaving behind a resonant fullness, a dense echo of Middle Eastern vibrancy that continued to reverberate in the ears of those who had witnessed the electrifying event at fabric.

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