Yonatan Gat to communicate ‘organic,’ ‘improvised’ sounds with The D-Rays and Slackluster at The Union


Yonatan Gat says shows are a collaboration between band and audience. The audience influences the vibe and musical choices and the band plays accordingly.

Gat and his trio will feed off the audience’s nonverbal cues at The Union on Wednesday night with their Middle East and Africa-tinged psych rock. Two Ohio bands, The D-Rays and Slackluster, complete the night’s three-act bill.

Tickets cost $15 and can be purchased in advance, according to the Facebook event.The show starts at 9 p.m. and is for ages 18 and older.

Gat emphasized the importance of organic improvisation in his live performances, allowing for musical flexibility. With little material preplanned, an improvised approach allows for unexpected grooves and jams, exclusive to a single show.

“You turn off your mind with improvisation, which is almost like a hallucinogenic drug,” he said. “The music seeps out organically.”

Gat first emerged in the public eye as the guitarist for Tel Aviv punk band Monotonix, whose live shows ranged from chaotic to unpredictable. Along with Brazilian bassist Sergio Sayeg and drummer Gal Lazer, Gat now administers a more developed style of rock, melting together jazz, world music and punk.

“The clearest way to express what I want to is not always the simplest,” Gat said. “The music I’m playing right now is closer to my spirit.”

He said his music is partly related to the themes of interconnectedness and unity.

For his Physical Copy EP, Gat worked with producer Steve Albini, who had previously produced for bands like Nirvana and Pixies. Gat said Albini is “perfect” for the role.

He is planning to release another album in 2017, his first since 2015’s Director, but most of the details for this new record are still unclear.

Although Gat’s music has a psychedelic flair to it, he does not prefer playing a psych tune over something more Miles Davis-inspired.

“Psychedelic is one of the broadest term that sort of means weird,” Gat said. “That’s why there are psychedelic bands everywhere. Our genre is our own.”

The band The D-Rays, based in Athens, is also set to play at Wednesday’s show.

“We have seen Yonatan Gat play several times and they put on a tremendous show,” Missy Pence, the guitarist for The D-Rays, said in an email. “The D-Rays are happy to be in the bill with them.”

She added that The D-Rays’ sets are tight, energetic and efficient. The band plays a combination of surf and garage rock.

Gat and his trio played a set at Nelsonville Music Festival earlier this year and also joined in on Mac Demarco playing Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.”However, this will be the first time the three musicians have taken to an Athens’ dance floor.



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