A bunch of years ago I reviewed a unique record out of Israel by The Apples. They took Rage Against The Machine’s “Killing In The Name Of” and funked it up so hard that you didn’t know what hit you. A special cover of the original indeed. Fast forward to the present day, and part of that original project is continuing on the tradition of unique bands out of Israel with CRuNCH 22. A trio featuring Tomer Baruch on Fender Rhodes , Dan Mayo on the drums, and Erez Tores on the Turntables, CRuNCH 22 is bringing their Groovetronica out of Tel Aviv to the rest of the world. Blending Funk, Soul, Instrumental Hip Hop beats and World Grooves (not to mention the turtablism skills of Tores), their sound is very unique. Their self titled debut record moves from spacey with strings on “In Spite Your Fear” to a psychedelic Beastie Boys instrumental along the lines of “Groove Holmes” on “Low-G” to a Bluesy number “Blues 22”, an updated Middle Eastern vibe on “Swinging Jaffa”, a killer cover of “Tainted Love”, to a down tempo, broken beat, Free Jazz jam album ender “The Kite”. It’s an eclectic ride from start to finish with this trio. Following up The Apples project, it seems that CRuNCH 22 has matured into an exploratory, beat oriented project, one who’s not afraid to get their feet wet outside the box.
The first single, available on 45, is “Dmitri” b/w “Barumbi”. It’s a magical trip through atmospheric drum beats, sitar samples and moody organ. I’m really pleased with the World Beat vibe it has, as Tores scratches in the sample while Baruch’s organ lends itself perfectly to Mayo’s hard drums. This was the perfect song to use as a single to introduce the CRuNCH 22 sound. The flip, “Barumbi”, is the track from a long lost movie soundtrack just waiting to be discovered. Steady drums and chunky organ are led by great turntable instrumentation of various guitars and sounds throughout the tune. A definite two sider with heat for sure. If you’re a fan of the organ (and I know you are), turntablism, and hard hitting drums combined with great samples and a good vibe throughout, then these guys are for you. It’s good to see another creative force coming out of Israel these days. One country conquered, bring on the rest of the world.
More info on their website.
Like CRuNCH 22 on facebook.
Get the music on their bandcamp page.