Rendezvous’ debut reflects a nightmarish urban conflict

Recorded in turbulent circumstances, Another Round Please, the debut album from electronic duo, Rendezvous, is a refreshing record which soundtracks a nightmarish urban conflict.

Rendezvous – Hagai Izenberg and Itai Simon—is an electronic band from Israel. Formed in 2003, the band developed a significant cult following on the internet which prompted the release of their debut album, Another Round Please.

The album was recorded in restless surroundings: Israel, during the period known as the ‘second Lebanon war’. As the band was recording, neighbouring cities and towns were being fired upon by Hezbollah missiles, and only a few miles away, Israeli planes were dropping bombs on Lebanon.

Naturally, the band reflects the conflict on the album. Track names like ‘Prisoner No. 257’, ‘Hands Up’ and ‘The End of The World’ create a sense of danger and urgency, and dark and forceful melodies are persistent.

Although the songs make suitable club tracks, Another Round Please is not strictly a dance record – the band incorporates elements of jazz, disco and classic progressive rock. Cited influences Pink Floyd and Depeche Mode are ever-present. Fans of UNKLE and Simian Mobile Disco will enjoy Rendezvous.

The band plays vintage analog synthesisers, giving the album a more organic feel, which reflects the sound of early digital pioneers like Kraftwerk and other German krautrock bands.

Interestingly, the album also echoes the work of German electronic composer, Max Richter, who wrote the soundtrack to the celebrated and controversial Israeli film, Waltz with Bashir.

The album is fresh and easy to listen to. It is nice to be able to hear a more traditionalist electronic record that isn’t laden with samples and processed treatments. However, the record does lack substance. It becomes tiring. Because Rendezvous physically play their instruments, they probably work better as a live spectacle.

Another Round Please is a very good album. But it could have been so much better. Maybe after another round things will pick up.

Another Round Please by Rendezvous is available 24 February 2012 on Rough Trade/Moot Records.

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