Lenny Ben Basat is one of Israel’s most prominent musicians, composers and record producers, and the owner of the LennyTunes production house, located in the old city of Jaffa, Israel.
Throughout his extremely successful international career, Lenny has developed his unique musical blend, from the traditional Maqam of Arab music and beats of Africa to the urban sounds and techniques of drum machines, analog synths and vinyl beat chopping.
I have known Lenny for almost ten years now, through the music industry Israeli scene. It is great pleasure following Lenny’s original, brilliant and beautiful musical projects over the years.
I am so happy to be collaborating with Lenny here in FRAMED and I am really looking forward to this concert (as so should you:)
I hope you will enjoy this short interview with Lenny, and I’ll see you soon at FRAMED#26 –
what is music to you?
Music is a direct line to our origin story, sometimes it’s a weapon, and sometimes it’s a cure.
What led you into this amazing blend of electronic, Arabic and African sounds?
My hometown, Jaffa, is my main inspiration, for sure. it is a unique oasis where for thousands (!) of years, it was a main harbor town by the coast of the mediterranean sea, a tavern town, with many inns for the weary traveler of the deserts.. full of night life with exotic dance and music clubs. sort of like the middle eastern Tortuga.. this free spirit of music, has remained, you can hear it in every corner. it is brash music, but sweet and seductive..
Tell us about “The Bellydance Superstars” Album… Where does its name come from? when did you record it? what’s inside?
I recorded the album at my Studio in Jaffa, in a relatively short and intense time frame. The name is a way to tribute the old masters of bellydance music and culture – the musicians, and no less, the dancers. the whole album and live show is my attempt of driving those sounds and beats into the future, and still be representing the roots of this art form, and my hometown.
Would you say that your musical projects have a political aspect to them?
I guess that everything you do, particularly any kind of art, is political, whether you want to acknowledge it or not.
The cover for your new album was made by the great Israeli artist, 93 years old, Holocaust survivor – Dov or Ner.
Together we have made an effort to bring Dov or Ner’s works to Berlin and we’ll be exhibiting them on FRAMED#26 alongside your performance.
What can you tell us about this intriguing connection between your music and Dov’s paintings?
Working with Dov is beyond words and a playground of pure imagination. I know Dov since my childhood, as I grew in a traditional agricultural Kibbutz in the south of Israel. His free spirit, free thinking, and raw art, was an inspiration. He also inspires me by the way that at his 93 years, he creates some of the most “youthful” and cutting edge stuff you can find. I feel very fortunate. this is the second music project we’ve collaborated on, with the first one also producing an exhibition of his paintings.
What inspires you?
Africa inspires me. in the way that music, dancing, the human body and nature, bond together so beautifully. the force is definitely strong there..
What should we expect from your upcoming performance at Framed?
A psychedelic electronic set of genuine grooves and seductive melodies from the Middle East, with a traditional percussionist and of course, a belly dancer.