Płyta dostępna od 22.07.2022
Płyta z 1993 r. Oryginalne wydanie Swim.
hroughout the 1980s Malka Spigel was the bassist and vocalist with influential post punk band Minimal Compact. Formed in Amsterdam by three Tel Aviv émigrés, who would produce a series of highly prescient albums and singles. But by 1988 the band had dissolved and Spigel began to plot her next move.
Released in 1993, Rosh Ballata would prove to be a quantum leap forward from anything she had created before. The album takes its cue from the worlds of shoegaze and trip hop, yet it wears these influences very lightly. More significantly, unlike every other indie record of the era, it would be sung in Hebrew.
"Like Bjork, this is not world music but world class pop" - Stephen Dalton in NME
"I'd always written and sung in English, and I think the lyrics I wrote in Hebrew have quite a naive, little girl quality, and it suits the music. Which may be part of its charm." - Malka Spigel
Rosh Ballata's over-riding mood is one of optimism and unfolding possibilities. This is typified by the sun-drenched glide of Besof Hayom, which comes over like the soundtrack to an infinite hazy summer, whilst the bright skipping rhythms of Lisgor Sipor Yashan might almost suggest Kylie Minogue in a parallel world! But there are moments of shade too, such as the brooding psychedelic drift of Yestiney or the mesmeric metallic art pop of Rotsa Ladat Od.
"The album became a hybrid of my childhood sense of local music - interesting musicians working the 70s I used to hear on the radio - plus the influences of the time we recorded." - Malka Spigel
Spigel worked closely with partner and Wire main-man Colin Newman, writing and recording with input from former Minimal Compact colleague Samy Birnbach - who also wrote the lyrics to two songs. Another two songs feature texts by the acclaimed poets Anton Shammas and Dahlia Ravikovich.
The album was produced by Newman in their home studio in Brussels, then mixed in London following Spigel and Newman's relocation to the UK's capital.
Paradoxically, upon its original release, Rosh Ballata was a much bigger success in Europe than in Israel. Whilst its influence on a new generation of Israeli musicians would not start to be felt for another decade, in the UK the praise was immediate and unstinting.
"File under 'mystics for the masses'. Or just plain, bloody fab." - Dave Simpson in Melody Maker
Rosh Ballata was the first release on Newman and Spigel's swim ~ label, paving the way for a run of albums and singles, which from 1993 onwards, captured the best in left field electronic pop, techno and post rock - as well as further releases from Spigel herself. But that's another story...
Rosh Ballata is an album of intelligent but heartfelt internationalist pop. It overflows with ambition and a desire to communicate with the listener, no matter what language they speak.