We use cookies for site personalization, analytics and advertising. You can opt out of third party cookies. More info in our privacy policy.   Got it

Within My Walls

Within My Walls

Complete with a soulful expression, a palate of international sounds and a multinational stage filled with talented friends, this dreadlocked Israeli singer/musician has much going for him. Not least is his capacity to organize, as Within My Walls, the Idan Raichel Project’s third album shows.

The IRP, first unveiled in 2002, bears the name of its creator but it also functions as a showcase for a diverse bunch of guests. Singers include the wonderful Colombian Marta Gómez, the Rwandan/Ugandan Somi and, from Cape Verde, Mayra Andrade. In terms of shaping the music, Raichel himself operates deftly: Middle Eastern percussion, Persian fiddles, rare woodwinds all meet in a swirl that’s fleshed out by a 24-piece orchestra and some zephyrs of electronic mood-setting. Hebrew, Spanish, Swahili and Arabic – the latter sung by the Moroccan-Israeli Shimon Buskila – lyrics flash by. The effect is of an elaborate pick ’n’ mix.

The IRP is big news in Israel and its middle-of-the-road, culture-lite sounds are, on international stages, proving popular. But there are caveats. Within My Walls – an odd title, given the political geography of Israel/Palestine – projects a vision of multicultural music that seems to have little space, on this album at any rate, for Palestinian musicians.


New Internationalist issue 424 magazine cover This article is from the July-August 2009 issue of New Internationalist.
You can access the entire archive of over 500 issues with a digital subscription. Subscribe today »

Help us keep this site free for all

Editor Portrait New Internationalist is a lifeline for activists, campaigners and readers who value independent journalism. Please support us with a small recurring donation so we can keep it free to read online.

Support us » payment methods

Subscribe   Ethical Shop