After 5 Years of dominating all charts, Tel-Vivian born Israeli artist Yotam Avni is most likely your favorite producer’s, favorite producer. Conducting edgy experimental Techno for critically acclimated imprints such as Hotflush, Innervisions & Kompakt has earned Avni a rare position in modern dance culture.
Yotam Avni has credited artists like Laurent Garnier, DJ Deep and Derrick May as his inspirations. Praising the time in dance music culture when sub-genres were yet to exist.
A longtime local hero of Tel-Aviv’s nightlife scene Avni is best known for his diverse long sets spreading from root-full House to modern Techno in a unique blend.
This week the Israeli DJ joins The RRP podcast series with episode 034. This hour-long mix features exclusively Avni productions, edits, and unreleased records on the likes of Innervisions. We also thought it fitting to dive a bit deeper and find out a little bit more about the man behind the headphones.
Everyone has an ‘origin story’ a moment or a record, something that makes them fall in love with music. What is your back story where did it all begin?
When I was 12 years old I got a copy of DJ Mag. The stories, the parties, and the life I saw in the pages made me want to be a music journalist. That started me down the path of music journalism and was the gateway into this world for a few years. I have always been into making music & DJing so it was just the logical next step. After a while, I focused on my music as a career.
Obsessing over what is and isn’t your sound is quite a common issue for DJs and can lead to all sorts of anxiety. How do you deal with this problem and how much has your sound changed since you first started playing music?
House & Techno music is over 30 years old now, so it is getting harder and harder to bring something new to it. That’s why you see a lot of retro-sounding waves cropping up.
For me personally, I really wanted to be a guy who does great tracks in more than one genre. I do worry sometimes that I might become locked in a specific sound. So I smoke weed when I’m worried.
For those with knowledge of Tel Aviv’s vibrant scene, they will be fully aware of the name AVADON. For those that don’t know can you explain a little bit more about what it is & what it represents?
AVADON means “doom” in Hebrew, it was a night we did in Tel-Aviv for a few years. Its where I had the chance to first meet Steve Rachmad, Lucy, Dustin Zahn, Psyk and lots of other friends I have been involved with musically later on.
Tel Aviv is a city we have been dying to visit for several reasons. How do you think it compares to cities like Berlin or Amsterdam?
We have better weather, better food and better looking women.
We have seen people describe you “as your favourite producer’s, favourite producer” and we think this is a fair statement given you have been championed by the big-name artists such as Dixon, Âme & Michael Mayer. What advice would you give to upcoming producers looking to get their music in front of artists of this calibre?
I think what a DJ needs for his set is a unique sound. This is more appreciated by the crowd than someone trying to follow a wave.
What part do you think music & in particular electronic music should play in social & economic change given recent events such as Tbilisi in Georgia?
Music can and should help people expand their minds. In Georgie, In Israel, In Berghain. Wherever you are in the world music ignores circumstance & can empower everyone.
Since you first got into dance music how have things changed for better or for worse?
It’s just got bigger mainly, which is a good thing overall. I am not a fan of a lot of retro-sounding genres though and I do miss some soulfulness.
The artists who have the longest careers tend to be the ones that push musical boundaries, evolve and break the mold. What do you think is the hardest part of being a producer?
I don’t necessarily agree. The longevity of a career doesn’t have to do really with pushing boundaries necessarily. Some of the greatest artists are kind of a one-trick pony but this skill can last them for decades. Its easier to market, which makes it a record label’s favorite.
The hardest thing about being a producer for me is that if at any moment you are not working on new material you carry a little guilt. Just like a college student feels during exams.
If you could produce a track with any musician in the world past or present who would it be and why?
I’d ask Johnny Mar to write a new song for Morrissey that is produced by Kanye, and it would just be released on my name like I’m DJ Khaled.
- Yotam Avni – Mystik – Hotflush Recordings
- Yotam Avni – Massa – Connected
- Yotam Avni – Heavy Lifting – Kompakt
- Kosei Fukuda – Kouya (Yotam Avni Remix) – REITEN
- Catz & Dogz – Open Door – Yotam Avni Remix – Pets Recordings
- Yotam Avni – Regis is for Regisford – Innervisions
- Yotam Avni – Jorniel – Innervisions
- Yotam Avni – Mañana Mañana – Kompakt
- Yotam Avni – Track For Agoria – Kompakt
- Radio Slave Avni – Feels Like Tikkun (Edit)
- Yotam Avni – It Is What It Is – Drum Sucks Version (Unreleased