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A 5/5 ‘Top of the World’ album review and feature run in the new issue of Songlines magazine. Cuttings attached.

And ‘Junun’ appears on the magazine’s covermount CD for this issue ( www.songlines.co.uk/songlines/current-issue.php).

Further album press has run in Intelligent Life (attached) and on the Monocle Minute newsletter (monocle.com/minute/2015/12/12).

And Gideon Coe and Gilles Petersen have both played tracks on BBC Radio 6 Music this week.

‘Bold, diverse and ambitious. Never has qawwali been so radio(head)-friendly.’ Songlines

Junun was included in the Sunday Times ‘100 Best Records of the Year’ list, which ran in yesterday’s paper.

The album featured in Clive Davis’s ‘World Music/Folk’ picks, which are not ranked in any particular order.

‘Radiohead’s guitarist joins the Israeli musician and poet on a journey in Sufi devotional music. Ecstatic, brassy and hypnotic, it’s border-crossing at its best.’ - Sunday Times, 100 Best Records of the Year

Junun is reviewed in the new issues of NME and Mojo (4/5). Cuttings attached.

You can read the ‘full’ version of the NME review online: www.nme.com/reviews/jonny-greenwood/16345

‘A beautiful record, both impeccably studied and totally opulent.’ NME

‘An exotic, often rapturous reading, of Tzur’s Sufi-meets-Hebrew song forms.’ Mojo

Junun is one of the lead album reviews in the new issue of Uncut.

Attached is the full-page review (7/10), including a Q&A with Jonny.

Junun slots neatly into a lineage of musical artefacts capturing the raw activity of cultural exchange, from Buena Vista Social Club to Africa Express. But instead of playing up its audacious collisions – east meets west, Israel meets Islam - these 13 songs feel more about natural chemistry and mutual understanding than grand statements… A fine entry point into the rich mystery of Sufi music, and a beautiful audiovisual document shot with a keen eye and a steady hand.’ Uncut

Further 4/5 album reviews have run in:

Observer: www.theguardian.com/music/2015/nov/22/shye-ben-tzar-jonny-greenwood-and-the-rajasthan-express-junun-review-hypnotic-paul-thomas-anderson

Financial Times: cutting attached

Scotsman: cutting attached

Evening Standard: cutting attached

Irish Times: www.irishtimes.com/culture/music/shye-ben-tzur-jonny-greenwood-and-the-rajasthan-express-junun-album-review-1.2436541

And ‘Roked’ and ‘Kalandar; were both played on BBC Radio 3’s World on 3 on Friday night.

An album review ran in yesterday’s Sunday Times. Cutting attached.

‘One of the most inspired releases of the year… Intriguing, sinuous and essential listening.’ Sunday Times

And ‘Junun’ was played on BBC Radio 3’s World On 3 over the weekend.

An album preview ran in this week’s NME (cutting attached).

And various tracks have been played on BBC Radio 6 Music and BBC Radio 3 over the last few days:

BBC Radio 6 Music – Gideon Coe (Junun, Oct 29)

BBC Radio 3 – World on 3 (Hu, Oct 31)

BBC Radio 6 MusicStuart Maconie’s Freak Zone (Allah Elohim, Nov 1)

Junun is on the Uncut ‘Playlist’ this month, and the album is featured in the magazine’s ‘Coming Next Month’ round-up. Cuttings attached.

Junun coverage from yesterday’s Observer newspaper:


And below is a summary of UK radio play to date:

BBC Radio 3 – Late Junction with Max Reinhardt (Azov, Oct 16)

BBC Radio 6 Music – Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour (Roked, Oct 18)

BBC Radio 6 Music – 6 Music News (Keaveny + Radcliffe & Maconie) (Junun Brass, Oct 12)

Initial news about Junun was featured on BBC Radio 6 Music – 6 Music News on Friday (Oct 9), and this afternoon there was a follow-up with more specifics about the album release.

You can listen again here:


[Segment at 1 hr 39 mins]


September 4, 2015

Sacred Music Festival, Jerusalem * * * *

Can art trump politics in such a divided city? Last year’s Sacred Music Festival began just days after the end of the Israeli incursion into Gaza, an operation that caused the cancellation of much of Jerusalem’s annual Season of Culture.

This year there was a chance to indulge in vaguely optimistic musings about bringing Jews and Muslims together as Shye Ben Tzur — a charismatic young musician and poet who has long been immersed in the Indian classical tradition — joined forces with Sufi performers from the sub-continent in the Tower of David, the ancient citadel looming over the Old City.

The presence of the Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood gave the concert extra drawing power (an album that the artists recorded together in Rajasthan is due out soon). In the end, though, Greenwood seemed content to play a supporting role, working away at unassuming rhythmic figures while the percussion and brass players fought for supremacy in an exuberant string of Qawwali pieces.

The more introspective facets of the music were undermined by the brash open-air amplification, but the youthful audience — the festival caters to the city’s younger, hipper Jewish population — responded to the raw energy, while Ben Tzur’s amalgam of Hebrew and Urdu verse left you longing to hear the studio version when it is finally released.

Cross-fertilisation was the theme, too, of the superb concert overseen by Mark Eliyahu in the YMCA, a strikingly ecumenical landmark near the famous King David Hotel. An exponent of the kamancheh or spiked fiddle, Eliyahu had assembled masters from Azerbaijan, India and beyond to explore the modes known as the maqam.

The subtle rhythms and melodies unfolded at their own gentle pace, a male rabbi and two female singers adding shards of colour. At one point Eliyahu — who admits to a soft spot for King Crimson — slipped a discreet rock vamp into the proceedings. Even arch-traditionalists would surely not have minded.

On the opening night, a slightly meandering celebration of communal singing had brought together believers and non-believers alike in the grounds of the Tower of David. A couple of nights later, an audience gathered in one of the chambers to witness Yaniv Schnetzer’s fascinating installation, Puja (Sanskrit for “respects”). In this piece, a circle of robots made from bric-a-brac including art deco lamps generated a haunting cycle of pulses, drum beats and rattles overlaid over ghostly recorded chants and whispers.

In the course of 30 minutes, sitting cross-legged, we were drawn into a hypnotic, subterranean sound world. The tumult of everyday politics seemed a long way away. It may well be back on the agenda at the closing event when the Jewish-American reggae singer Matisyahu — controversially targeted by pro-boycott activists in Spain last month — will make an 



Nonesuch Releases Shye Ben Tzur, Jonny Greenwood, and the Rajasthan Express's "Junun"