Noga Erez’s first single and video, “Dance While You Shoot,” offered promise and perspective from a women who’s familiar with the precariousness of the state. Juxtaposing violence, or the threat of it, with splashes of pink “blood,” not to trivialize its result but to make it starker, the Tel Aviv musician placed a line reminiscent of Emma Goldman’s ever-quoted/ever-relevant dictum in the context of clanging synths and a kind of chaotic, asymmetrical techno. And it inadvertently served as a resistance anthem, as Erez, in a low growl, declared, “This is how it’s done, I’m nobody and no one/but I can chop you with no knife/with no gun in hand/but I can keep you down.” It was a song of strength, and its cacophony was both innovative and resonated.
One day in December, Erez visited the Jezebel offices for a chat about her music. She considers herself a producer first, along with her collaborator Ori Rousso, and so we discussed the Tel Aviv dance music scene, which seems to be much less rigid and gender-exclusive than some have been historically in the States. With Rousso, she told us, they produce equally, working on a “sort of atmosphere—the drums, the bass, some harmony” before she records her vocals, which are largely improvised. This manner of working “really allows us a lot of freedom,” she said, and it seems to emerge in their live show as well, a skittering, mesmerizing union of synths, live electronic drumming and intense coolness.
This week, Erez released her second single from forthcoming album Off the Radar, which will be released in June. Entitled “Pity,” she based it on a specific incident in Tel Aviv of a woman who was raped while bystanders allegedly watched and filmed, but did not help her. “I make music to make music, but then I also get some benefits on the side, which is the power that music has as a sort of therapy, I think,” she said. “A way of approaching all the issues in life as a human being.” For her part, Erez’s particular approach is wildly unique and couldn’t have come at a better time.