Yom Gagatzi / The Institute Of Ongoing Things

Yom Gagatzi / The Institute Of Ongoing Things

Raash Records, 2023


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Uri Katzenstein was an Israeli artist who was well versed in sculpting, playing and building music instruments, as well as sound machines, and even dabbled in film making. Unexpectedly, he passed away in 2018, and this highly creative listen pays tribute to him with two different line ups of musicians who honor his memory. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The first half of the listen belongs to Yom Gagatzi, which consists of Katzenstein on vocals, wind instruments and percussion, Binya Reches handling electronics and bass, and Ohad Fishof delivering circuit bent instruments, keyboards and vocals.

These six tracks are very much prone to atmosphere, such as the ambient and mysterious textures of “Erhan Bashak,” but can also be vocally focused, as with the buzzing electronics and very expressive singing of “In Our Culture.” Deeper into this portion, the setting turns nearly sci-fi in a world music sort of way with the highly technical “Strea Medina,” and “Words” welcomes spoken word into the Eastern influences that are dreamy and meditative.

The back half also features Reches and Fishof, but also adds Ishai Adar on sound machines, objects, bells, synth and kalimba. The lyrics are by Katzenstein, and the music was made for the opening of an exhibition in Amsterdam that Katzenstein was going to play music at. He passed away two months before the occasion, so these four tracks were produced in his absence.

“Uri” opens this portion, and it uses vocals as an instrument in the inimitable beauty, while “When He Was” continues the calm landscape with vivid storytelling amid an ominous mood. “Under The Ukulele Tree” finishes this portion, and comes with light percussive sounds, dreamy synth and some of the best singing on the album.

Katzenstein was active in music in some capacity from the late ’70s onward, and it was always avant-garde, whether in terms of performance or sound. This posthumous effort certainly pays tribute to his legacy with much skill, and his experimental approach is preserved with the utmost care.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2023 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Raash Records, and is used for informational purposes only.