Berlin Jukebox: Baladino
Translation by:Danny S.
The Israeli folk band "Baladino" lives among different countries, languages and cultures. Based in both Berlin and Tel Aviv, they use digital technology to produce their rousing hybrid music of Ladino meolodies and world music rhythms. Cafébabel Berlin met with two of the Berlin-based bandmembers.
Various musical influences, a life in Berlin and Tel Aviv, and 25 instruments on the stage in concert; one wouldn't assume that Baladino is a drab mainstream band. The band, which was started in 2012, wants to do its own thing.
"La kumida 'la manyana" from the new album "Dos Amantes".
How would you describe your style?
Yael Badash: We play folk. Our music is influenced by traditional melodies, such as Ladino (Jewish-Spanish, Ed.) melodies. But we also allow ourselves to be inspire by music from around the world.
Yael: In Berlin we were really influenced by Turkish music, because their culture plays a big role here. We even took lessons. Other than that, we combine our folk with electronic music.
Then you're in the right place, here in Berlin. What does the capital city symbolize for you?
Thomas Moked: My grandparents are from Berlin. And I always wanted to live in a place where you can get to know your roots. After all, you can't just learn about your background; you have to live it.
Yael: But it can also be helpful when learning and living a culture to reinvent and find yourself. And that in turn helps you understand music.
Thomas: Besides, Berlin has a certain rhythm. It really helps ground you. I was really surprised to see people reading outside in the middle of the day. Here you can work and live.
But your bandmates Yonnie Dror, Adam Ben Ezra and Yshai Afterman live in Tel Aviv. How does your collaboration work?
Thomas: It's a lot more difficult when you live in the same city because you can easily get distracted. Ever since we've stopped living in the same city, we've really been able to make music together.
Yael: We're just a lot more focussed on our work.
Thomas: We take care of most of the work over the internet. You can get Skype calls in the middle of the night and mutually work on music. And when we feel we're ready, we meet for a week and work together in the same place. This one week is really where it's at. It's like a long distance relationship. When you finally see each other, you immediately want to do everything together.
And that's the case with Baladino?
Thomas: Yeah. We recorded our album, for example, in one and a half days. You can only manage that if you know the others really well. With whom there's good chemistry. We're even able to improvise on stage every now and then. The longer you work with someone, the better it gets.
You just came back from a six week long tour in the USA. What's next on the list?
Yael: We just released our new album in Israel, and plan on starting on a new project soon. We want to record our next ablum here in Berlin this upcoming summer. Naturally the city will influence the album's style. We also want to have a concert here.
Also brand new: "Quando el rey Nimrod".
CAFÉBABEL BERLIN has turned on the jukebox
Fed up with the eternal sunshine of top 10 hits, radio loops and Spotify playlists? From April 2014 onwards, we will introduce you to young musicians, DJs and live acts from Berlin who still have the musical power to surprise you. Check out the jukebox! More tracks and playlists on Facebook and Twitter.
Translated from Berlin Jukebox: Baladino