If you’ve a penchant for experimental electronica, then you will most certainly get along with Israeli four-piece LESS ACROBATS. The Tel-Aviv based band have crash-landed into 2017 with intoxicating tracks such as the R’n’B infused psychedelia of ‘Dirty Lover’ – which you can listen to below – and are set to reach new heights when they release their debut EP Stanza this month, which also features the funk-tinged ‘Floating Opera’. BORN MUSIC got in touch to find out more…
Your recent track ‘Dirty Lover’ was fantastic; can you tell us a bit about what went into creating it?
Thanks! You can look at ‘Dirty Lover’ as pure anger engaging in dialogue with fond memories of a former lover – but it’s really a matter of symbolism.
It has all the classic parts in it, history and ego. We wrote it while 2016 happened and there were a lot of people really detached from what’s happening. So in some ways the strangeness of 2016 is mostly real. It opens up all the shit that was harder to notice while everybody had enough money to buy stuff, but it was there – it’s not like Trump just showed up suddenly. It was well hidden inside suburbia and people telling themselves they know what’s good for everybody.
It’s complicated. That’s why we believe it’s much easier to look for these patterns in ordinary relationships. It happens just the same in every level.
The track was a blend of electronics and psychedelic elements. Combined, these elements make ‘Dirty Lover’ sound very fresh. How did you come to settle upon your signature sound?
We didn’t really think about it. When it comes to music we really try to not rationalize. I mean, the sounds we choose are the one that are most relevant to what we’re doing at the moment.
You previously used guitar more prominently in your music, though you have recently changed to your current sound, which is influenced by hip hop, RnB, psychedilia and shoegaze. What led you to change your sound?
We still love instruments, but we use them in a different way. We sample ourselves. The obsessive nature of sampling just fits our character better, it gives us more control on what we are doing.
Have you felt more excited about creating music since Less Acrobats’ change in musical direction?
Yeah it feels good.
In February, you will be releasing your debut EP Stanza. Did you encounter any challenges when writing and recording the EP?
Actually the writing was part of a weekly ritual, every week we wrote a new song. The tough part was polishing our intuitions in the production world into well produced songs. It felt like inventing our own private language.
Was there anything – musical or otherwise – that was inspiring you whilst you were creating the EP? If so, what and how?
A Tribe Called Quest really changed a lot for us. They have a way of making complicated stuff much more simple.
Stanza is being released via BLDG 5 Records, an Israeli label that is known for having an innovative roster, artists of which have previously been featured on Pitchfork, Stereogum, The Fader and more. How did BLDG 5 and Less Acrobats come to collaborate on this project?
Their artistic approach was right for us.
Have BLDG 5 and your contemporaries been supportive of your new musical direction?
Very supportive. We all sat together and had a listening session of our new sketches. They were excited right from the start and pushed us to bring more new music.
Your label mates include electronic artist Totemo, funk outfit Garden City Movement, Ground Floor and William Arcane. Have any of you ever considered collaborating with each other on a project?
Yeah we talk about it from time to time.
You are from Tel Aviv, Israeli. Can you tell us a little about what it is like to be a musician and creative in the city? Is there a lot of support for creative people?
It’s the best manifestation of what good can come from a well organized cognitive dissonance. There is no support for musicians, but it just happens. The music scene here is crazy.
Do creatives from different mediums collaborate too?
The film industry here can definitely bring people from different domains to work together.
The artwork for your recent singles ‘Dirty Lover’ and ‘Floating Opera’ is very striking. Who is responsible for creating it and why are they the perfect images for your work?
We worked with paper cut artist Lulu Play and photographer Michael Topyol to build a sculpture made out of paper. We liked the flow of the material, and how it doesn’t really have a beginning or end. Then, our very own Amir Steinberg took this image and added another layer of a beautiful graphic design. We don’t know if they are the perfect images, but we like them.
Are there any musicians, creatives or collectives in Tel Aviv who deserve more recognition? Who are they and what makes them great?
We’re happy to share a label with Garden City Movement and Lola Marsh. They’re good at what they are doing. Buttering Trio are monsters, in a good way. Vaadat Charigim write the most emotional songs without feeling sorry for themselves, which is quite of an achievement.
Less Acrobats’ debut EP Stanza is out in February 2017.