Entertainment

Dubbing it Israeli style

By Richard Johnson Observer senior reporter johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, October 24, 2012    

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REGGAE continues to have an impact globally, earning a new generation of fans.

Such is the case with Israeli Alon Braier, winner of the inaugural World Reggae Poster Competition.

Braier was recently in Jamaica as part of his prize for his entry Roots of Dub.

The 28-year-old artist and musician told the Jamaica Observer that as for the reggae scene in his country, there are a few popular bands.

He named upcoming groups such as Zvuloon Dub System, Los Caparos — who play strictly ska and roots reggae — as well as older acts like Tomer Yosef and MC Carolina.

He also mentioned that Barrington Levy and African reggae singer Alpha Blondy were in Israel recently for the Jerusalem Reggae Festival.

Dancehall music is yet to gain a foothold in that market as Braier explains:

"There are some dancehall events for students, and of course, the Israeli dancehall queen contest, but they usually draw a small crowd," he said.

"There are some dancehall events for students, and of course, the Israeli dancehall queen contest, but they usually draw a small crowd," he said.

On the other hand, Reggaeton (a popular fusion out of Latin America) is quite popular in the Jewish state and there are even some local Reggaeton artistes like Alon de Loco, who sings in Hebrew while mixing Caribbean and oriental flavours.

Braier's own interest in reggae began at an early age.

"I was first exposed to reggae music as a teenager by my father who owned several reggae albums. Later on, when I worked as salesman in a local record shop, I discovered roots reggae through artistes like Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and the Trojan record label and by my third year of art college I found himself really getting into dub and the creation of dub music," he explained.

With such a strong interest in dub, it is not surprising that Braier's winning poster drew on this genre of the music.

"My reggae music influences are mainly the dub pioneers you can find in my poster; King Tubby, Lee 'Scratch' Perry and Augustus Pablo. Each of them is truly great and inspiring in his own way," Braier explains.

His instrument of choice is the alto saxophone, but he also plays the bass, various drum machines, samplers and synthesizers. During his trip to Jamaica, he had the opportunity to rehearse with the Alpha Boys Band and recorded a song at a local studio.

For the studio session with Mikey Carroll at Creative Sounds, Braier says he fused Mediterranean scales and funk flavours with reggae and dub.

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