Israeli progressive Rock Band
("Parva Chama" in Hebrew)
Hot Fur in an Israeli progressive rock band which released its debut album ("Hot Fur") in 2005, on the well-known Musea label in France. The album has already recieved good reviews in Israel and on several e-zines on the web.
Read new reviews of the "Hot Fur" album (Musea, 2005):
The story of the "Hot Fur" band was not any worse or more tragic than usual in this field of modern art-rock. It's just another living testimony for our times, and the distorted preferences of the record companies, enslaved to the mainstream, and handcuffed with the demands of commercial radio stations.
The year was 1997. Lior Frenkel, a bright, young Israeli guitarist, gifted composer and devoted Zappa fan, started attending the Israeli music college "Rimon" in Ramat Hasharon, near Tel Aviv. There he met several new friends, which shared his determination to play progressive music. As time went by, he assembled a group of high-quality musicians, which later became the "Hot Fur" Ensemble ("Parva Chama" - in Hebrew):
Nadav Bachar - Guitar
Ben Hendler - Bass Guitar
Erez Koskas - Drums
Roi Shemesh - Keyboards
Yael Krauss - Lead [female] Vocals
Ben and Nadav came from an earlier group called "Butterfly". All of the musicians were involved before with playing, composing, arranging and recording. Lior composed all of the tracks to their first album (which was never released!), titled "Hot Fur! Hot Fur". It was recorded in Ambience Studios, located in Ramat Gan.
This excellent debut, originally recorded in 1999 involved many other music students and players, who played violin, cello, flute, vocal effects and operatic singing. The resulting album - HOT FUR - features eleven tracks of modern, well-balanced, original progressive rock, partly instrumental. The material is Zappa-influenced, but also incorporates musical elements of 80's-era King Crimson, minimalist music, jazz-rock fusion and light psychedelia.
For English-speakers we can help with the Hebrew lyrics: the first album track is about a sudden adventure in space, for a girl who was just sitting in the office and minding her own business. Moon (track 4) is a lonely man's love-song for the moon. Track 5 (Sabres) is named after an Israeli thorny fruit, and deals with the apparant drug addiction of Johny Baby, which makes him pretty unpopular in the Kibbutz. Track 6 (Chab-Chabibi) is a typical Hot Fur psychedelic piece, and the lyrics are about some guy asking another guy to give him a kiss, with the other guy angerily refusing the request. Track 8 (A man and a monkey) deals with a monkey's inability to fully comprehend the complex world he is living in. Track 10 (Cheretz) is a mini-opera about the adventures of a legendary semi-hero called "Heretz".
Hot Fur gave a few gigs on various clubs in the city of Tel Aviv. The demo album "Hot Fur" got some positive reviews in the press, TV and local radio, as did their stage performance. Their shows consisted of a theatrical style inspired by the stage antics of Zappa's legacy. Hot Fur group members & guests demolished computers on stage, wore creative costumes, smoked an arab "Nargila" and designed the show as a "freak-out" play about an Israeli Kibbutz hero called "Johny Baby" and his battle with reality. Frenkel himeself wore military uniform. The shows were videotaped by some local fans. Some of the pictures from the Hot Fur tapes are presented here. Lior Frenkel sent digital copies of the Hot Fur debut album to local record companies, but got no positive reply. In spite of this depressing failure, Hot Fur did not break up. They recorded a second effort, much more jazz-oriented, influenced by the modern style of John Zorn (also Jewish, but living in NYC), owner of the Tzadik label. This album, recorded in a private flat in Tel Aviv, featured short pieces, displaying a much-more cynical approach. Frenkel sent a copy of the finished work to John Zorn's American label "Tzadik", but got a negative response. This album, as the one before him, was never released. Hot Fur pulled a few more gigs with the new material, but then Frenkel left Israel for Holland, to study music. When he came back, "Hot Fur" had temporarily dissovled. The other members formed a new jazz band called "Maze 12" and played many gigs, including the Tel Aviv Jazz festival. Frenkel flew back to Israel and began working on some new music. Hot Fur officialy re-grouped, added a horn section, put on a new live show in Tel Aviv, gigged every month, recorded new music and negotiated a record deal, first with an Israeli label (MIO Records). The Israeli label manager, Meidad Zahariya, decided to contact his friends in Paris. Hot Fur released their debut album on the French progressive Musea label in Paris, in 2005.
Learn more about Israeli progressive rock bands:
Learn more on progressive rock in Israel
This page was written by Uri Breitman (Last updated: April 2006)