Choopie Israeli Djs Tel Aviv nightlife 2B Continued

Choopie Interview

DJ / Producer Choopie is the pioneer of the Electronic Dance Music in Israel. Recognized as Godfather of Israeli DJ’s today and elected 5 times running as Israel’s no.1 DJ, Choopie has graced the decks for over 2 decades. Early in his career CHOOPIE, was involved in radio shows & dance events and produced the first dance and techno CDs in Israel. This acted as a backdrop for the launch of his dance Label, Agnosia Records.

As the 6 year resident at “Allenby 58” (as well as at it’s summer venue “Octopus”), Israel’s most famous club (chosen by the famous music magazine “Face” as one of the top ten clubs in Europe 1997), Choopie attracted 1500+ each week to his Thursday Night slot and hosted top International DJ’s including Judge Jules, Sasha, Paul van Dyk, Paul Oakenfold, Dave Seaman, Seb Fontaine, Nick Warren, Roger Sanchez, Tony De vit, Tall Paul, John Kelly, L.L. Vega, Tiesto, Jeremy Healy, Brandon Block & Graham Gold. CHOOPIE also hosted a Friday Night House Radio show on 100FM for four years running.

Choopie has performed leading events in Israel over the past 12 years including The Ministry of Sound Tour, Perfecto Tour (With Paul Oakenfold, Grace ETC), Platipus Records night, Lucky Dance Festival (with Faithless), All 3 Dance & Levi’s festival (with Prodigy, 808 State & Juno Reactor & Dj’s Carl Cox/Tony De vit & DJ Jan), Tel-Aviv’s four Love Parade’s and collaboration with Israel’s internationally acclaimed dance troupe Mayumana. Choopie has also spinned internationally in the UK (Peach, Gatecrasher & Republic), Ibiza (Miss Moneypenny’s closing party at El-Devino & Perfecto Night at Pacha), Turkey, (Dance Valley), Holland and the USA.

Inbetween dj’ing, running Agnosia records and managing his studio for external productions & remixes, Choopie is also a reputable music producer. In the past he was one half of Jez & Choopie, the main remix unit from Israeli (97′-98′) and whose first major release “YIM” (Multiply) made the UK Top 40. The track was signed to over 20 countries and was the first major Israeli dance hit for years with Sony Music subsequently signing the duo on a Worldwide publishing deal. Additional license success followed in 1999 with two of his productions released on leading European house labels such as Basic Beats (Holland).

Always in touch with developing musical trends coupled with a sense of maturing & development, Choopie’s Djing and productions now reflect the more groovier/sexier side of club music containing live vocals and live instruments reflected in releases such as “The Love” released by DEEP DISH’S respected YOSHITOSHI Recordings and “Sunrising” – By Choopie & Samuel on BLACKHOLE Recordings (Tiesto’s label). In his latest production collaboration, Choopie teamed up with Arik Bar for the Flyzone project which covers two main genres, psy trance & chillout grooves, and includes collaborations with Chakra and Goblin.
Choopie is also re-launching Agnosia records, currently becoming available on all international digital web-stores whilst signing & releasing productions of new and established artists with the aim spreading its sound and message to a new generation of club-goers and music fans.

Since the 90’s, the name Choppy is a breakthrough and a part of the Israeli electronic music culture and night life. As a veteran in the field, you have a clear perspective on that matter, so let me ask you some questions.

Q. What kind of music was played at your home?
Choopie: There was great love towards music, so if you refer to the 60’s and the 70’s, we listened to classic and rock and later, to new wave and from all over the world.

Q. When did you realize that electronic music is your style?
Choopie: My first encounter with electronic music was in the mid 80’s. I was exposed to the new wave that contained electronic touches. Then I understood that the music is shifting and taking a totally new course, so out of interest and curiosity I decided to check how far it can be developed.

Q. When was your first significant show?
Choopie: My first show, which was also a milestone for me, was in 1984 when I was 18, in Kiryat Sha’ul in front of 3,000 Tel Aviv bohemian people. After the show I was offered by the producing company to become the resident in Shirocko Club in Tel Aviv, there I had a platform to present the electronic genre and state the DJ’s status.

Q. What things were critical for your career decision making?
Choopie: One was going abroad in the late 80’s and visiting some of the main music scenes around the world like New York, Netherlands and Ibiza. There, for the first time, I was familiarized with the main clubs that led the scene. I discovered the importance of the DJ’s role and presence in front of the audience and I brought it to Israel.
I had become resident of the Metro and the Elizabeth clubs and led the electronic music scene in Israel, and I carried out my unique music line.

Another, was labeling the Agnosia techno parties that I produced in the beginning of the 90’s. Later, it brought me to produce Agnosia Records which I own today, and it represents and exposes Israeli electronic music.

Q. What led you to create Agnosia label?
Choopie: The label was produced because there was no platform for Israeli electronic music abroad.

Q. Who is involved with Agnozia label?
Choopie: Choopie, Jazz Ansell, Flash B., Paverv Sors, Flayzone and many more.

Q. Which singles were the most successful?
Choopie: The single Yim that was signed by the British Sony company and made it to the top 40 in the U.K. Amen by the Flash Brothers, The Love that was signed in Yoshitoshi owned by Deep Dish, and a number of singles that were signed with Perfecto owned by Paul Oakenfold. Also, Chilling Moment that was signed with Bedrock owned by John Digweed and many others.

Q. Glamour and success brought you fame, adoring audience and many offers. Would you do things differently today?
Choopie: Anything that happened to me was for the best. I had the great privilege to be the pioneer of the electronic music in Israel; touching and creating something that I really love. Maybe, if I moved abroad, I would have been recognized as other world DJs that are being recognized today.

Q. As a child you grew in a high socio-economic status in K’far Shmaryahoo (A rich neighborhood near Tel Aviv), and you were considered spoiled. Did it help or promote you in any way?
Choopie: My career has been developed only thanks to my persistence, belief in original music and immense love for it. The only thing that affected me was the trouble of carrying my heavy gear to Tel Aviv every time (I had to hitch-hike a lot).

Q. As someone who has the experience and many connections in the music industry (e.g. radio stations, producers, public relations, audience etc.), how is the Israeli electronic music perceived in this industry, and where does it stand relatively to the rest of the world?
Choopie: Electronic music is everywhere today thanks to the Internet and global sharing, so the Israeli audience is definitely updated. There are many productions here; yet, I think there is a lack in local radio stations that broadcast this kind of music, just like it is done abroad.

Q. Can you say there is a difference between the beginning or peak of your electronic music career and night scene and the situation today, which the DJ must deliver the goods and the audience is craving for new things?
Choopie: In the past, it was more sharing and togetherness (like the 60’s Woodstock) and there was a strong bond between the people and the music; the DJ was like a leader. Today, there are very few clubs so the DJ and his audience have to ‘wonder’ among them. In addition, clubs are being opened and closed according to trends and the PR person is the one who calls the shot.

Q. Ofer Nachshon was the first one who gave a stage to electronic music in the 90’s, when he broadcasted it on a daily show in Reshet Gimel (an Israeli radio station). There were also Friday nights broadcasting in Galey Zahal and your program with Jazz Ansell in Radius that was both a landmark and a turning point at the time.
Did the fact that electronic music was considered an underground music affect the increase of many pirate radio stations in those days? Also, why was the underground electronic music played only in underground places? Please tell me about the time in Radius and your work with Jazz Ansell. Where is he today?
Choopie: During the 80’s and the 90’s, electronic music had no place in the Israeli radio stations, so pirate stations were the answer. That’s how it penetrated into clubs like the Penguin, Liquid, Metro and Ha’Chashmonaim. Jazz and I had a program in Radius for several years and we hosted some famous DJs from around the world, so we had a great opportunity to broadcast and expose the electronic music; we played two-hour sets. As for Jazz, he left the profession and lives in Canada today.

Q. Technology and new electronic equipment are a drastic change in the DJs attitude. There are many softwares and midi devices, laptops and control panels. Where is this placing the DJ?
Choopie: Technology is developing and changing. My first DJing show as a teenager was with cassettes and vinyl records that were later replaced by the varied electronic devices and media. I think that the DJ’s role is to create the atmosphere and bring innovativeness, in addition to his ability to feel and make the crowd enthusiastic through the music experience.

Q. Do unlimited accessibility and information sharing contribute to the music industry? Do you use the Net as a DJ?
Choopie: Global sharing in the Net allows me to get updated, learn faster about new things in Israel and around the world and to think about the next thing. There is a vital fertilization, except for the free downloads that hurt copyrights. Besides, it keeps me up to date all the time and I can listen to music and play it freely.

Q. As a DJ and as someone who is involved in the night life culture what is missing in the clubs today?
Choopie: Unfortunately, there are hardly any clubs today; therefore, there are very few clubs that are minded to this type of music and there is also a lack in raves that tie everyone together to the music.

Q. What is it today that wasn’t in the past and vice versa?
Choopie: Today there’s acknowledgment in electronic music; it became accessible and varied genres had developed thanks to it. You don’t need much to open a recording studio, whereas in the past, I had to go abroad to record shops in order to bring the right music for my audience.

Q. What kind of treatment do you get from club-owners in Israel and around the world?
Choopie: I personally get a good one. I have built my reputation for years and DJs from abroad are respected.

Q. What new material or projects is Agnosia label working on now?
Choopie: A first album of the trance ensemble Flyzone called TLV Texas was  released 4 months ago. I built the group together with Arik Bar, and the project combines electronic music in the old school trance style along with live players and singers. It’s a new project that will present the audience a different kind of show.
In addition, Agnosia had signed a single with the Flash Brothers – Palamito, under the label of Steve Angelo (Size Records) that is being played in Ibiza’s clubs and around the world by leading DJs. They had released a new 3 part album name Heaven’s Gate at the same time of their world tour, and right now they are playing in a number of clubs in Brazil.

My Zen Story new album is on store now, an exceptional world-fusion & chill-out concept album of down-tempo music, written, arranged & produced by me & Arik bar. we adopted the motif of “Peace & Love” into our sonic landscape, capturing a universal message through music that is both organic and spiritual. Zen Story is set to capture your imagination while hurling your senses into a mystical musical journey.

Agnosia In The Mix will be available online store soon, these is a new mix album which presents our updated and now days sound . Keep follow Agnosia Records on Beatport.

Q. What do you foresee to the electronic music culture in Israel and around the world?
Choopie: In general, the more technology is improving; the quality of electronic music is getting better. New and varied sounds insert depth and dimension to the whole experience, and just like in the rest of the world, Israel has many talented artists in this field that can contribute to this culture.

2B Continued Podcast 28 – Choopie

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