Deep’a & Biri – An Israeli duo to watch out for
There is no doubt that the Israeli duo Deep’a & Biri, are among the most promising talents emerging from the electronic scene of Tel Aviv. Recently they released their full-length album named ‘Emotions, Visions, Changes’ and the boys have been releasing tracks on top labels like Transmat Detroit, Gigolo Records, Rotary Cocktail and their own label Black Crow.
Deep’a (30) is a key figure in Tel Aviv’s night life both as a DJ and as a A&R manager for Tel-Aviv’s cutting edge club, Barzilay (RIP). Itai Biri is a young (23) producer from the city of Jerusalem. Itai started his journey into electronic music at the early age of 14, and after a few years the kid already holds some impressive producing and DJ skills with a wide musical range between loopy techno and Chicago and Detroit classic deep house.
With their tracks currently being played and charted by some of the scene’s most respected DJs, the industry is taking notice of Biri & Deepa’s talent; the young Israeli artists are on their way to establish themselves as one of the main producers coming from the turbulent Israeli scene. We asked Deep’a & Biri some questions about the album they released and about the electronic music scene in Israel.
You boys recently released your first full-length album named ‘Emotions, Visions, Changes’. What was the intention or vision behind the album?
“The idea was to cover the wide musical spectrum we produce, from laid back ‘dubby’ stuff to more upfront dance floor and raw techno material.”
Deep’a & Biri – Emotions, Visions, Changes LP
How did the creative process to create the album evolve? Was it a process with lots of bumps in the road or a comfy and laidback process?
“Actually we recorded the tracks on the album over a period of more than 2 years. When DJ Hell offered us the opportunity to release a full-length album, we put together the tracks we liked the most from a big selection of tracks we produced and combined them into a concept album. The process of selecting and editing wasn’t easy, but very exciting.”
How did you guys met and when did you decide to collaborate as a duo?
Deep’a : “Biri send me a message on my MySpace a long time ago when he was just 17 years old. He knew me from previous projects I did and send me some of his demo stuff. I was pretty amazed by the high level of the tracks he send over and couldn’t believe that the tracks were created by a 17 year old kid, so I took the bus to Jerusalem to check it out. After a fast meeting in his bedroom studio, we decided to start working together.”
In what way do you guys complement each other and how’s the collaboration developing?
Deep’a : “I’m coming from more of a DJ perspective with understanding of dance floors and track editing while Biri is well-informed about the technical aspects. The more time we spent together, these aspects seem to merge.”
Biri : “I think that there are lots of examples wherein we complement each other.Once in a while one of us starts a sketch of a track by himself and then we hook up together in the studio and build the overall track. In many cases, we just start to jam and thanks to our strong connection and pretty similar musical preferences we easily guide ourselves through the mixing and editing phases.”
Deep’a : “I started to listen and collect electronic music from a very young age. Over the time, things became more serious when I started to spent most of my time on exploring new music, buying vinyl and so on. When I was 17 everything was coming together as I started going out and got in contact with the very strong Tel Aviv club scene.”
Biri : “I started listening to really shitty dance music by the age of 14. Then my big brother gave me a copy of Richie Hawtin’s ‘Closer To The Edit’ mix cd. When I listened to the mix I initially perceived the music as pretty strange. When I listened the cd several times I started to feel what it was all about and it resulted in me checking out other sides of techno and the history of it.”
What’s the electronic music scene in Israel like and what are the key figures that proved to be a source of inspiration during your youth?
“The 90’s electronic music scene was based on big parties that took place at mega clubs that were mainly based in Tel Aviv & Jerusalem featuring global underground DJ’s. In addition to these bigger events, some small underground clubs were more into Drum and Bass and techno stuff.”
“Around 2001 most of the bigger clubs vanished as the result of the security issues in Israel. The dedicated electronic music enthusiast started some cool underground clubs in that period. In most cases, the DJ’s that were playing at these parties functioned both as a DJ and club owner.”
“We felt really connected to these kinds of clubs and started to get involved by playing at several events and started some parties of our own. The local DJ’s and promoters were the vital key figures that kept the scene going and proved to be the personalities the scene needed in these tough periods.”
Is electronic music an accepted subculture in Israel?
“Yes and no, the authorities approach electronic music as a negative subculture that causes violence and is connected to drugs and therefore they make an effort to shut down the clubs. It’s also really hard to find an open air event around Tel Aviv – getting the approvals which are required for those kinds of events is almost impossible.”
“On the other hand there is a small, but educated and varied community of music lovers. There are some clubs that book top artist on a weekly basis, and a fresh new generation of promoters and local DJ’s that move things around. Most of the action is inside Tel Aviv, outside Tel Aviv there isn’t much going on.”
Can you boys share some upcoming talented producers from Israel who definitely deserve some attention?
Can you tell us something about upcoming projects, releases or events?
“We started to play outside Israel and coming up next is a gig with Kenny Larkin in Moscow, on the production side we have a big project together with Aril Brikha on our own label “Black Crow” and we have some other EP’S coming out in 2014.”
Deep’a & Biri – Systematic Session #225