Hear and Now

Despite never playing a show or releasing a single, Klavlavei Hapop have made a name for themselves by producing topical, deep and exciting club music.

Dafna Arad
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Dafna Arad

Klavlavei Hapop is a name that in recent months has been whispered about in small clubs, on fringe music blogs, Facebook pages, student radio stations, between tents and at supermarkets open all night and at art schools. This was before the musical quintet behind the name released its premiere album or even a single, or even played a gig.

Assaf Bloom and Yaron Sivan studied together at the School of Sound and Music and both have deep, low and dark voices. One night last September they were sitting on stools and listening for the millionth time to the only album of the Jinjiyot, from 2008. After a discussion of its qualities, they decided the time had come to revive their musical style.

Klavlavei Hapop.Credit: Tali Mayer

Within a few months, they enlisted Nimrod Katzir and his advanced equipment and the singers Tamar Gomel and Naama Friedman to light up the darkness with their angelic voices. Thus was born Klavlavei Hapop, whose name roughly translates to The Pop Puppies.

Since then, the group has been meeting several times a week. They sit surrounded by synthesizers, yellow rubber ducks, empty pitas and bottles of liquor, talking, laughing, eating, writing songs, finding interesting sounds and polishing texts.

Their goal at all times is "to create exciting, but deep club music." That is how Bloom defines it and the results can be found splashed across the Internet.

The humor and irony in the songs are a remnant of the early days when they were still the Tzhokim Band, which yielded silly, but finely produced songs.

Katzir claims that now "the uncompromising attitude toward writing texts combined with the production and the textures played abroad, create a melting pot for good sounds. In the end, everything we do sounds new, always."

Klavlavei Hapop creates a dark and sexy pop sound "with the balls of punk" as Katzir puts it, citing a range of influences from the dark sounds of the '80s to '90s pop.

Bloom acknowledges that, "we have a serious '80s obsession. We really enjoy when a song, with not too much effort, sounds as if was taken from that era. But we don't want to remain a retro band, or a gesture. It's just the initial and amusing basis from which to start. Using the strong influences of the period, we try in every song to find our direction. We try to zero in on things that are happening now, specific places or slang."

Beyond the 80s throwbacks, the band is super-topical, with references to Tel Aviv sites and experiences.

"All art is connected to its context," says Friedman, "we present situations that in another 20 years will become nostalgic and remind us of this time."

Sivan adds that "dealing with subjects in such a narrow niche is actually anti-niche. As a listener, you don't try to understand every word. We try to take the trendy context out of the song."

Bloom, however, admits "our songs our sort of Tel-Avivian, but I don't think that we have a problem with it. That doesn't mean that all of our songs are like that."

Katzir jokes, "Remember that even the Beatles wrote about Penny Lane." The band members laugh.

Today they are preparing to convert the dynamic and the songs for a stage performance. They fantasize about a sparkling show with enthusiastic fans and light-reflective costumes, and avoid announcing a time or venue. They are also planning to release their songs officially, on an album.

And despite what one may think while listening to their music, Eran Tzur is not part of the band.

"It just sounds that way because of my singing style," Sivan says. "I sing with an open mouth, the way he does." But with everything a freshman band could ask for - adoring fans, a quality line up - they are split on what they are missing.

"Limits," says Nimrod, while Assaf goes for a more superficial answer: "Clearly, we also don't have a makeup person. And we are still producing ourselves. Maybe later on that will change."

Tamar says they are missing a cover for their album.

"But we have a Facebook page," Assaf says.

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