Back With a Bang

Two years after falling off the indie map, Lo Dubim has returned, with a debut album of songs ranging from silly to contemplative.

Uri Zer Aviv
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Uri Zer Aviv

Up until around two years ago, Lo Dubim (which translates to No Bears ) was one of the most active and well-liked bands in the Tel Aviv and festival indie scene, from InDNegev to the Menashe Forest Festival and back in time to the Hutzmizeh Festival.

But then, suddenly there was no trace of the band, which sang nonsensical songs to a bouzouki and played as if it was a prog metal band. Now they are back in town and playing to sold out crowds and it seems they had just been hiding out in the studio, given that last week the band released its debut album, "Be'ezrat Nashim."

The members of Lo Dubim, who just recently their freshman album “Ezrat Nashim.”Credit: Abdullah Shama

Lo Dubim began as a trio, Avi Turjeman (bass, vocals ), his friend Ronen Braten (guitar ) and a revolving door of drummers. "Avi and I are friends from Karmiel," says Braten, "and the first drummer, Dov Rosen, was replaced by Hagai Shlezinger just before we went to the studio."

Shlezinger also plays for Midnight Peacocks, GeishaNO, Ram Orion and others. After finishing his work on the Lo Dubim album, he returned to his other businesses and the band was joined by its present drummer, Nimrod Lieberman. The outstanding guitarist, Erez Kariel of the band Giliam, was also an early addition to Lo Dubim. He switched his guitar for a bouzouki here and his mastery of the instrument is like nectar to prog rock geeks.

"The band rose from the ruins of an earlier group that Avi and I had, where we played a kind of progressive and twisted rock," says Braten. "We started Lo Dubim as a trio, but very soon we made it a quintet, with Keren and Erez, who joined."

The singer and saxophonist Keren Duneitz (the sister of musician and artist Maya Duneitz ) added a lot of power to the band. It is hard to keep your eyes off her during a concert, with her boyish looks and neurotic movements on stage. Something about her is intriguing and disturbing when she sings the first single released, "Hayu Li Yamim":

"I have no desire to get up, it's just madness/how much time can you live depressed," and the band responds as if they were an old chorus fed up with life, "she had nice days, my friends/ she had some times, fantastic times."

Something in the combination of words and melodies and the humorous performance generates excitement and interest.

The band's other songs also have this contradictory mix of laughter and social criticism. For example, the song, "Silicon" with its lyrics about breast enlargement surgery and chorus of "silicon, silicon, silicon, I want Silicon Valley."

"The switch from total nonsense songs to other ideas for songs was gradual. We realized we had created a platform which could be filled with content," Braten says. This is only the band's first album, but its future is already uncertain. Duneitz has been living in Berlin for over a year, where she is part of the electronic troupe The Buttering Trio with her partner.

Kariel is also on his way out. "I have a wife and an apartment and a piano in New York and I'm moving there soon," Kariel says, though he adds they have no intention of breaking up. "We worked this way for all of the past year. We arrange to work for intense periods while we are all in Israel."

קראו כתבה זו בעברית: דובוני אכפת לי

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