Disturbing the Peace

The dense, busy music of Inga-Dingo contains something joyful and liberating, while its nagging excesses get stuck in your head

Noya Kohavi
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Noya Kohavi

Beit Oren junction, sunset. A long-haired young woman carrying a sleeping bag is hitchhiking at the side of the road. After getting in the car, she asks if we're heading up to Kibbutz Beit Oren. We drop her off at the entrance, where she sets out in search of what she calls the "fairy forest" - which turns out to be somewhere near the swimming pool.

Doron Butnik, keyboard player and soloist for Inga-Dingo, meets us along the main road of the kibbutz, a little further on. As befits the musical genre, he is barefoot.

Inga-Dingo is now recording their second album at Beit Oren, where Butnik has been living over the past few months. As their first album was shelved, if this one is released it will be their audience's first. It doesn't yet have a name, and is being recorded in a rather unusual manner: Once a week, drummer Ido Eshed and guitarist Oren Ben David (also a member of the instrumental group Tiny Fingers ) sit in Butnik's room on the kibbutz and they record a song together.

Last week they worked on a broad, circusy tune - as busy as a down blanket stuffed with firecrackers. The group's studio work (if Butnik's bedroom, which doubles as his living room, can be called a studio ) allows them to pile on more and more layers of their music, which is quite dense to begin with. Inga-Dingo's music is so busy it disturbs the peace, but in an elusive way: On the one hand it contains something joyful and liberating, and on the other its nagging excesses stay in your head and refuse to go away. The listener finds himself staring at the three long-haired musicians, wondering what are they on and where they've hidden the orchestra.

Ben David describes their sound as resembling "an aquarium filled with animals, but no fish." Butnik adds, while engrossed in a game of computer solitaire, "Our first goal is to make a great album that can be listened to at home, because there aren't enough. It won't sound like anything else and I'm dying to put it on here and listen." Ben David recalls how a few days ago he woke up at three in the morning, put on a recording of one of their live performances, and danced by himself for hours.

At the heart of Inga-Dingo's music is what they refer to as "rhythmic and emotional ideas." It deals with states of feeling and reality, and refrains from passion. Something along the lines of the young woman hitchhiking to the fairy forest - they are not aiming these things at the brain.

"The audience we are seeking out is made up of people who come to feel and dance," Butnik explains. "We try as much as possible to make things pure, to have fun. That's how it started and we are trying to keep it that way."

Eshed surprises us, saying that people have been asking to sit in on their rehearsals. The idea takes off and in less than a minute Inga-Dingo decides to invite the public, via the newspaper, to visit them during rehearsals. Those interested may call Oren, 052-585-8066.



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