As the vinyl revival momentum continues, it is indeed a wonderful to be a collector and for those looking for some hard to find gems, Fortuna Records should be your next stop. A record label and DJ crew from Tel-Aviv Fortuna are championing the obscure forgotten sounds of the Middle East with some wonderful reissues. The next release to be added to the great Fortuna catalog is the 1988 electronica LP by keyboardist Raviv Gazit. The album was composed entirely on the Synclavier synthesizer in the basement of the Tel-Aviv University in 1985.

Lets get into the tech: The Synclavier was an early digital synthesizer, polyphonic digital sampling system and music workstation produced in various forms from the late 1970’s into the early 1990’s. The Synclavier II, which was released in early 1980 with the strong influence of master synthesist and music producer Denny Jaeger. It was originally Jaeger’s suggestion that the FM synthesis concept be extended to allow four simultaneous channels or voices of synthesis to be triggered with one key depression to allow the final synthesized sound to have much more harmonic series activity. This change greatly improved the overall sound design of the system and was very noticeable. Gazit composed ‘Ze’ using one of the later editions (possibly the ’84) which enabled 16-bit user sampling (originally in mono only).

Background to Ze: The album is an assortment of tracks Gazit composed for various films and theatre performances during the years 1985-1986. Gazit had a key to the university’s studio and would spend entire nights programming the Synclavier, creating complex soundscapes in what he describes as “ideal conditions”. In 1988 he compiled the best of those recordings into an album he named ‘ZE’, meaning “this” in Hebrew, as well as an acronym of his surname and the concept of Zen.

Ze: Although categorised by many under experimental you would be wrong to expect a collection of work that can only be enjoyed on a sonic level, the experimental side of the music is largely the percussive elements using samples ranging from the human voice to collected sounds. Melodies in the arrangements are more synth generated and although could be thought of as less experimental in the overall picture, they have been manipulated and crafted to create the desired sound. ‘ZE’ is a perfect example of a skilled musician creating traditional musical arrangements and experimenting with new technology creating something very unique. With the exception of ‘Inquisition’ which has a mysterious and dark tone, the album has an overall uplifting bright energy with melodies having a fourteenth century medieval feel common in elegant celebratory music from this period. The intricate layers within the music have beautiful movement and seem to intertwine with each other creating a very non synthetic organic sound and it’s compositions bring new surprises and delights on each listen. An album many may have missed first time round, now getting a well deserved re-issue.

“a sought after album from 1988………..one of the most mesmerising electronic albums of the era, quickly becoming a modern-day holy grail”

Now available, once again on Vinyl.

Catalogue Number: FTNLP008
Format: 12” / Digital
Matered at Abby Road Studios

• A1 – One & One (2:36)
• A2 – Two (3:52)
• A3 – Room 308 (2:48)
• A4 – Possibility (3:09)
• A5 – Lips (3:31)
• A6 – One (2:28)
• B1 – Gavrush (3:15)
• B2 – Kurdania I (2:31)
• B3 – Kurdania II (2:05)
• B4 – Inquisition (2:36)
• B5 – 11/8 (2:42)
• B6 – Things (Hafazim) (3:35)
• B7 – End (1:47)