5 House and Techno Artists Making Waves in Israel
May 23, 2023
4 min read
To all the destination ravers out there, time to add one more country to your list: Israel. For decades, a thrumming dance music scene in Israel has churned out some vital offerings to global dance music culture.
Venues like Haoman 17 in Tel Aviv regularly host European favorites like Adriatique and Henrik Schwartz, while larger festivals and outdoor events also have a strong presence. Damian Lazarus hosted his famed Day Zero party in Masada back in 2019. The Netherlands staple festival, DGTL, has also produced an iteration in Israel as far back as 2017, bringing artists like KiNK and Jayda G.
But in Israel, like with any scene around the world, the lifeblood is the artists, and along with the impressive events, Israeli artists have been championing unique dance music sounds for years. Check out five Israeli artists who are making waves in house and techno.
1. Red Axes
Dori Sadovnik and Niv Arzi of Red Axes are internationally known for their fluid approach to dance music. On tracks like “The Phone Call,” they flex the sample chops of the most revered hip-hop producers, but their knack for different grooves, as heard on their albums like 2020’s self-titled effort, makes them a shoo-in for headlining slots at any type of party. Whether DJing or manning the hardware for one of their epic live sets, they demonstrate the kind of widespread musical influence enmeshed into Israel’s scene.
2. Guy Mantzur
The landscape of Israel is generally one of desert. Within the long stretches of sand lie scattered oases wherein this dance music culture lies, but due to the sweeping nature of the country, many artists, like Guy Mantzur, hone to a cinematic, mysterious sound.
Actively releasing music since the mid-’00s, Mantzur has shared the sonics of his home country in all the notable dance music hotspots from London to Chicago to Ibiza and even to new sprouting markets like India. Put on tracks like “Tremolo Man” and let the wispy synths and tight-groove basslines soundtrack an imaginary journey across an Israeli Desert.
3. Sahar Z
Sahar Z is a resident of the aforementioned Tel Aviv nightlife establishment, Haoman 17, so he’s one of the artists playing a deciding role in the sounds of the country. But at the same time, he only decides his own sounds in the moment.
Having won DJ of the year three times in a row (decided by Israel’s most popular music magazine), his talent for curating bespoke musical journeys is widely celebrated, and his own tracks represent this versatility as well. One of his most celebrated, “Zikaron,” channels the mystical energy that punctuates the traditional dance music of Israel, but a keen ear will also hear an interpolation of the oft-sampled Incredible Bongo Band track “Apache.”
4. Jenia Tarsol
Jenia Tarsol is a relative newcomer, but major players in the scene are already paying attention to him for a reason. The most prominent example is undoubtedly Tale of Us, who signed two of his tracks, “Panic Attack” and “Do You See It Yet?” to their momentous record label, Afterlife, back in 2021.
What’s intriguing about Tarsol’s career is that he has developed a couple of consistent production partners. The Afterlife cuts were made in concert with the Greek rising star Echonomist, and Tarsol also frequently works with another Israeli-born artist named Chaim, as he did on their joint single, “Lazy Evil.” It seems as fast as he’s rising, Jenia Tarsol is committed to bringing his friends up with him.
If there is still any doubt about the vitality of the Israeli dance music community, consider the veteran artist, Lonya, who has over 400 production credits to his name. No one could achieve that kind of statistic without an unshakable work ethic, and with that kind of statistic, there is no chance his catalog is anything less than eclectic.
Frequently working with Israeli-born record labels like Asymmetric Recordings and labels helmed by Israeli artists like Guy Mantzur’s Plattenback, this consistent stream of music touches on organic house, melodic techno, deep house, and everything in between.