Israeli DJ /Producer Yahel Sherman is one of the more popular artists to rise from the global psy-trance scene. Along with his fellow Israelis, Infected Mushroom, DJ Yahel has spent the past few years travelling the globe and spreading his sound to ravers and clubbers alike.
With numerous successful mix CDs under his belt plus several highly
successful singles released on Tiesto's label,Black Hole, Yahel has
solidified his status as an up-and-coming producer and jock to watch
(currently ranked at No 28 on the global DJ rankings). Although he isn't committed to a single style, Yahel has a natural affinity with trance side of things. His typical set is highly melodic, floaty, uplifting and catchy as all hell – he brings these elements, and more, into the mix with his new album Super Set II.
We took a moment to catch up with him.
IDJ: You are a busy man, you're always on the go. What do you do for fun in your downtime?
Yahel: When I am home I like to play internet chess. I find it very
relaxing. I also like to go fishing but I am not very good at it. I think its sitting around on the beach that I like more than actually catching anything. But I live near the sea and do things lilke walking with my dog Loco everyday.
IDJ: What is the one essential you have to take with you on your travels?
Yahel: My Archos media player. I love watching movies and TV shows on it. I also take my protable chess player. That keeps me occupied on long flights when I can't sleep
IDJ: What's the best part about being an international DJ?
Yahel: Being able to bring my music to people all over the world. I like the feeling of connecting with people through my music. I have to be honest too. I like seeing new cities, and staying in classy hotels, but for the most part its being able to connect with the fans.
IDJ: You've been appearing more and more in America and Canada? What's it been like DJing in North America?
Yahel: There are a lot of Israelis in North America, especially in
places like NY, LA and Toronto. They like to support Israeli artists so my shows in those places usually turn into a bit of an Israeli cultural thing. Also the scene is growing. The US is behind Europe on the dance music scene but they are catching up fast.
IDJ: Closer to home, what's your spin on dance music in Israel? Anything (or anyone) happening that we should know about?
Yahel: The Israeli dance music scene is growing too. It's not just
Psytrance either. It used to be that the scene was dominated by
Psychedelic and Goa producers. It seems more and more that there are Club and Progressive artists coming out of the scene. Like Itay Steinberg AKA Hydroid, he is a very talented young man. But if Psy is your thing check out System Nipel. They are very deep and melodic.
IDJ: Aside from DJing, you have done a few albums of your own, for example 'Super Set'. How was producing compare to compiling or DJing? Do you find it harder?
Yahel: Most of my releases have been artist albums. I think of myself as an artist first and a DJ second. Yes people know me for DJing but I mostly play my own tracks, and throw in a few bonuses for good measure. Either way, I think in this industry these days it's more important to produce than DJ. If you create music you have a much better chance of getting your name out there. With my new album I spent half a year producing it without very good results. It was a lot of crap. Then one day I had a sort of creative breakthrough and I was able to finish it in a month.
IDJ: What can we expect from your new album 'Super Set II' which is coming out in June?
Yahel: You can expect more melodic trance. It's all very very uplifting. There are some comercial aspects to it but I promise its not cheesy.
IDJ: So you signed a worldwide licensing deal with Aardvark Records in the UK. How did that happen?
Yahel: I was speaking to my PR director and we were thinking about
directions to move in and he thought it would work for us to license the album in order to get more international movement on it. We wanted to make noise with the record and it seems so far we are doing a good job of it.
IDJ: Aardvark is still a pretty new label, did you have any worries about not signing the album to a larger or more established label?
Yahel: We felt strongly about trying to build my profile in the UK. Also in regards to the size and age of the company, we felt that it would be in both our best interests to work together. This is an opportunity for Aardvark to push themselves to get me out there and build themselves up even more. I knew they were going to have my best interests in mind. Sometimes with a larger company, they release the album but with very little fanfare and it gets buried. I don't think this will happen with Aardvark.
IDJ: As a DJ, what record has been your secret weapon of the year so far?
Yahel: The remix of my single 'Ocean', by Michael Tzukerman, has been
getting good feedback. However, I actually have a new, still unnamed,
track I have played snippets of on stage. That's definitely been lighting up the dance floors.
IDJ: What's happening with your label FTP Music?
Yahel: We have released several singles by Tammy Federman who sings with me on my tracks. We are also awaiting a new album from Guy Zigdon who we signed last year. Things are moving and as our artists have more to promote and release we will grow with them.
IDJ: As a producer you seem to be experimenting with psytrance and creating more crossover tracks. What's up with that?
Yahel: I make the music that is in my heart. I am lucky in that I am able to produce in a sort of world all my own where I can be a part of several scenes at once. You can hear how my music has developed from my early days as a producer. So with me, it's always about trying new things by staying true to who I am.
Super Set II is released worldwide on 22 June 2007 on Aardvark Records
For more information, visit Aardvark.