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Chaim – Alive review

Without wishing to unfairly malign a nation’s taste, Israeli dance music doesn’t usually conjure images of quality. Unfairly or not, it’s most often associated with fluorescent psy trance or deadly dull progressive house – the kind of music that stretches out for ten humourless minutes without actually offering anything of note. Clearly, however, we haven’t been paying enough attention, because in Chaim, Israel boasts a producer of genuine flair, quality and innovation. Alive, his debut album for long time employers BPitch Control, is the equal to anything from Berlin, London or New York. What’s more, there’s a distinctive shuffle and melodic warmth that gives it real emotional resonance.

This is electronic music that appeals beyond the confines of club dancefloors – it has that kind of timeless, far-sighted vibe that makes it a wonderful listen from start to finish. First and foremost, then,  Alive is a proper album, with songs (“Wish”, “Alive”), jolly instrumentals (“Popsky”), musical experiments (the strange pop-rock of “Robots On Meth”) and stone-cold hits (the celebrated dream-like synth pop of “Love Rehab” and grandiose dancefloor throb of  “U & Eye” and “Runaway Frequencies”). It gathers together diverse influences – synth-pop, German house and techno, nu-disco, ambient, even nu-jazz – and weaves them into something new and fresh. It’s beguiling, bewitching and, most of all, beautiful. Don’t miss out.

Matt Anniss