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Q: Can you give us some details about “Random Thoughts” the new album you have just released?  

Yaniv: The new album which is entitled “Random Thoughts” was released worldwide on February 20 2006, is not a typical Shulman album in a sense that all the tracks on it weren’t written especially for it or for any other specific project, unlike what we usually do. Therefore, we consider this album to be more like an artist “compilation” in some aspects more than an artist album. Since the tracks contained in this album were made in different musical periods and with different musical goals, the end result as a whole is a very diverse album representing a large array of musical styles and elements. It contains musical fundamentals from many traditional cultures such as Sufi, Turkish, Egyptian, and Irish, up to more modern electronic music such as IDM, Psychill, ambient, atmospheric D&B, and “normal” modern music such as Rock and Jazz. Also there are collaborations on this album with many talented musicians, some of them are world famous like Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Steve Shehan, Bluetech, Sub6, Amir Gvirtzman, Entheogenic, Ori Beanstock and many other less famous but very talented musicians such as Yinon Yahel, Matan Chapnitzky, Lee Triffon and others. I think this album is very different than what you may call a classic “Shulman” album. We thought it is a nice idea to offer our fans these tracks as it does represent another side and slightly different aspect of our musical work. Also we believe this random concept album is a suitable platform to release these tracks and finally have them out there in the ocean of musical creation. We hope the listeners will enjoy it.

  Q :  Shulman has been an established act for some years now - why do you do what you do?


Omi: We do what we do from the love of music. The joy of creation takes us forward always and makes us get new picks and reach higher goals, and did I mention the chicks?

Yaniv: I have a very strange and unexplained passion for composing music. And what started as a nice side hobby quite quickly grew into my work and became an important and meaningful part of my life. I wouldn’t really want to do anything else in my life at the moment.

Q : Can you tell us a bit about the different roles you both take on as members of Shulman?   Omi: In the music creation and production we don’t have specific rules, we each do what we feel like and try things out and once we find something that we like we both work on it to fix it up just the way we want it to be

Yaniv: As for the logistic side of things. Omi handles the fresh beer supplies and chicks while I’m in charge of smoking and lighting effects in the studio.

  Q : How do you go about constructing a new track - is there a process that you favor - or some favorite techniques?
  Yaniv: When inspiration hits me it’s usually just a general idea for a melody and/or harmony, or sometimes it’s just a general concept for a piece. I usually try to write down the idea when it pops up or if I’m not in the studio I just record it humming it into my cell phone. If I don’t write it down or record it I usually forget it after 10 minutes which sometimes can be really frustrating if you were looking for a really good melody for the last two weeks! Once we have a general idea for a piece we start to expand and improve it until there’s enough concept or potential material to start the actual buildup of the piece. Some pieces took us over 3 years from start to finish. Especially the material for the next Shulman album is going through many cycles of improvements. Some of the tracks that are intended for it are being worked for almost two years now.

Omi: We usually start of with a general idea and build the track around it, we compose many different elements during the track and in the end we pick only a few from them and build the whole track around those.

Q :What would you say is the philosophy behind your music?

  Omi: The philosophy behind our music is to experiment in everything we can and take the listeners to new grounds and find new places of light and joy.

Yaniv: Did Omi mention the chicks already?

  Q : There are some beautifully rich acoustic performances on the new album - where do these come from?

  Yaniv: Those came from where most beautifully rich acoustic performances come from… from the hands, mouths and minds of great musicians and players. In my eyes there is no electronic replacement for real instruments played by real people, or for sounds and emotions created by the human voice. Some feelings and elements in music just can’t be created by electronic instruments and of course also the other way around. Moreover, I think that humans react emotionally differently to the human voice and acoustic playing and get much more emotions floating inside than any other sound on earth. I strongly believe that the combination of these two worlds is the way to cover the vast ocean of musical possibilities and create new and groundbreaking things in the electronic music scene. About the players that took part in this album… Omar Faruk is one of the world’s most praised nay players today and Turkish/Arabic arranger and composer. Ori Beanstock and Amir Gvirtzman are part of the Israeli group “Estha”, a group that plays ethnic music. Amir is also considered one of the worlds top wind instruments players in his field, and he plays a stunning array of wind instruments of all sorts. Ori plays a lot of exotic string instruments. Matan is a young and talented Sax Player who studies at Berkley College at the moment. So I think this list reflects and can explain the variation of styles contained in the album. They are all wonderful musicians!
Q :  The Shulman sound is very much 'cutting-edge' - how do you maintain this?

Omi: A lot of bandwidth and good download capabilities hehehehe, we do our best to keep up to date with all the new amazing software that comes out and beside that we are always open minded about our music and try new things all the time and that is what is keeping us on the cutting edge I think.

  Q : What would you say is the most exciting piece of kit you've acquired and why?

Yaniv: for me the most exciting gear I bought was Yamaha CS1-X synth which was the first electronic musical instrument I owned. In the day I bought it I just couldn’t wait until my job has ended and I left work earlier and rushed home to play with my new toy.

Omi: The most exciting piece of kit we have acquired for me is the computer and it never stop to shock me. The abilities of this machine are endless.

Q :  Tell us a bit about Shulman live - how does the music translate to the stage?

Yaniv: Shulman live is currently played by 4-5 people, depending on the availability of the players involved and the promoters budget. All the tracks played live have been rearranged for the live show. The show’s full setup is performed by a drummer who plays a full set of acoustic drums, an electric bass player, a keyboard player, a wind instruments player or a singer, and me. The outcome is just fantastic and is very different from any live show of any electronic group that I’m aware of today. The show also features a few unreleased tracks which will be released on our next album (due out in the last quarter of 2006). If you have a chance make sure you catch us perform since it’s something really special and unique! Also I’m very happy as how this show turned out as it advances the whole concept of electronic music further out of its traditional boundaries and it gives the audience a real musical concert. Personally I’m tired of watching someone plays with his laptop’s mouse and calling it a show, and the whole concept of electronic music performances needs a serious makeover, which is what we aim to do. I hope to upload to our website some audio recordings and short video clips to it soon.

   Q :  Do you have any fears or concerns for the future of electronic music?  

Omi: I have no fears what so ever, the technology is growing all the time and there is no limit to where it can go, I’m sure the electronic music has just began and it is here to stay for many more years.

Yaniv: Not really. I believe the electronic music is here to stay and I that there are plenty of new grounds to explore in it and sonic places to visit, both as a composer and as a listener. I’m also pretty excited about the fact that electronic music creation tools, especially highly advanced and capable software and computers are accessible to so many people all over our planet these days. This fact alone means that many more people can experiment and create music, which in turn leads to new and fresh thinking musicians who can come up with exciting new ideas. The downside of this explosion of technological availability, which I think hurts the blooming of electronic music, is that a lot of crap also gets released. I think that filtering the crap is the label’s job, which sadly they don’t always do.


 Q :  What does the future hold for Shulman? What can the fans look forward to?   Yaniv: our next album (the fourth one, untitled yet) will hopefully get released in the last quarter of 2006. We already have about 60% of it ready and judging by the quality of the material which is already finished this is going to be a very special and interesting album. In addition, our live show is something our fans should look out for. I just can’t explain how special and good it is…  





Thanks to Yani and Omi for allowing us that interview.