The Face Behind: Interview with Dekel
Dekel Kamioski, A.K.A Dekel, is one of the rising stars in the Israeli Trance scene.
Performing at the Ozora, Solaris, MANDALLAH, Vortex and other known stages by the age of 28 proves he is already a top class and appreciated artist.
On March 22nd this year, Dekel released his debut album Ancient Future.
Empowered by the positive trend of the pandemic recovery in Israel (parties are once again an option here), Dekel is getting back on stage. I'm super happy to see that he is once again taking the crowd on a magical journey on a weekly basis - what a pleasure!
Hoping the world will follow Israel and gradually get back to normal life, this is a great time to catch up with Dekel while he is here in Israel and present to you the next episode of The Face Behind The Artist series, with Dekel.
Dekel's New Album- Ancient Future
My little story:
I’ve been present at many of Dekel’s sets in my life (the last one was in the famous Israeli club, The Block) and every time I was enchanted by the trip he takes the crowd on.
I used to play some Dekel or Imperikal (by the duo Dekel and Gurovich) tracks at almost every party. The crowd always started whispering and was amazed by the unique deep sound and melodies which, I must say, remind me a bit of Loud (which makes sense, as you'll see later in the interview).
I have a very close friend who is a big fan of Dekel’s, so the first time I contacted Dekel was a few years ago when I tried to get him to play at my friend's bachelor party. Unfortunately, it didn't happen in the end, but hey - at least we got in touch.
When I presented this blog and the opportunity to do an interview to Dekel, he kindly agreed and from the personal conversation we had, I can tell you that I was very inspired by the guy's approach to life, music and everything in between.
I think it's time for you to get inspired too.
Interview with Dekel
First of all, man, congrats on your debut album - I believe that is a dream come true, both for you and for your fans - you should be proud!
We'll talk about it soon, but let's start with Dekel Kamioski...
Where did you grow up, Dekel?
I grew up in Kibbutz Ga’aton, in the north of Israel.
When I served in the Israeli army, I got a room onin the kibbutz and stayed there, even though I spent most of my time in the Moran unit, where I served as a commander.
What can you tell me about your childhood?
From the age of 8-10 I had a very clear connection to music.
I played the organ and also learned to play drums and became a drummer.
At age 13, I got a small amount of money for my Bar Mitzvah and I decided to equip myself with DJ gear, including speakers and some lighting, so I could go to a party and bring everything with me. I started to play at Bar/Bat Mitzvah parties (boys and girls traditional coming of age celebrations in Israel).
At the age of 16, I came across trance music for the first time.
It happened at a bar that was owned by Elad Miyara (A.K.A Mi-ya-ra, another known Israeli DJ) in Naharia (the nearest city to Ga’aton) where I was a waiter. Every Monday there was a line of trance parties.
I didn't understand what was going on around me, but it was definitely something different, unknown. I remember DJs like Ritmo and Aerospace playing there at the time...
What kind of guy were you in the hood? The good vibes maker :)
How did trance music come into your life? Following the Monday trance line, I wanted to play trance and started to scan discs, write down tracks and their BPM's and to mix them...
I remember the first 'real time' I went to a trance party .outdoors, It was an Underground production party and that was the first time I really got exposed to what trance parties are and the spiritual benefit you can gain from them.
When you heard it, back then, did you know that it is going to become such a big part of your life? The direction was always music. The relationship with trance was something that evolved.
What kind of music did you used to listen to back then, and now? As a late teenager, I used to listen to 2PAC, later also Radiohead, Infected Mushroom...
These days I listen to everything, and people don't know, but I also do everything, including writing a few bits for a very well-known mainstream (well not so mainstream) superstar.
So, how did you evolve into a DJ? In any given stage I had no idea what would happen, I just did what I thought was the right thing to do and things happened by themselves.
Let's talk about music...
For me, when thinking about Dekel's music, a charmed feeling flows through my body, something gentle, yet, very kicking and trippy...
What is the message you are trying to deliver when you play? There is no unambiguous message, the music plays itself, the magic is the music. I am trying to convey the experience that I wanted to feel myself. I am happy that people connect to that feeling this way and I try to bring the dance floor to a meditative state-of-mind so they can loosen their bodies and listen to the story.
There is always a story that accompanies the set...
What kind of sounds (B52)/instruments (synths/analog) do you use to deliver your message? If you had asked me this question a year ago, I would have thrown out many names. Nowadays, I understand that you don't need to have special tools. If you have an idea/vision for a track, you'll find a way to make it comealive. The challenge is to bring the vision.
I can't ignore that listening to you makes me think about the popular duo you know very well, Loud. In this regard, what can you tell about your musical journey (with Eitan, Gurovich, other artists)? Cool. So, Nimrod Gurouvich lives in Ga’aton as well, and we grew up together. When he was in the army, Nimrod played in a rock band and started to learn at the Rimon School for musicians. Somehow, we decided to do something together and created mini tracks but couldn't perfect it.
We really loved the sound that Shayman produced at the time and since Eitan did the mixing for Shayman, we reached out to him and, fortunately, he just went along with us
This is how Imperikal started to take shape and Dark Angel was a track that made us understand that we had it, that we were in the right direction.
At some point, we felt that we had done what we could as a duo and started our solo careers.
What can you tell me about your inspiration sources? I just wrote about it on my Facebook.
Well, I wouldn't want to change a word:
Being an artist means being at the studio, performing on stage or traveling in between. What do you like the most?
I find it is quite balanced.
I love to start something, call my friends to listen (I played the album to friends for around 6 months prior to releasing it, which was as exciting as a performance for me)
When you come to a party, do you know what you will play? How do you find the balance between 'playing yourself' and thinking about the crowd (maybe they want something else) when playing? It has to be balanced, what 'isn't working for me' won't work for the audience. That said, the fact that you make great music doesn't make you a great DJ. You have to feel the crowd and navigate the ship gently and confidently.
This is why, in most cases, I won't prepare anything. I read the situation and adjust accordingly, while staying faithful to myself.
What do you think about the Israeli trance scene? Israel is a psycho country, what was in the past and also what happens now is just crazy. During the pandemic, it feels like the scene is a bit off, like it’s lost its roots and shape and went out of balance. On the one hand, everything became so organized, but on the other hand, the police targeted trance parties and other festivals and cancelled big events at the last minute.
I hope that the pandemic did good things for the scene and refined what happened. So far, in the small open air parties I played, I have seen calm people and a light and enlightened atmosphere.
What fulfills you the most these days? I can get caught on a track, get amazed by a trip in the forest and by other small things in life.
Thank you Dekel, that was amazing! Let's end up with some free-association questions:
What track can you use and it will always do the job? Magneto - by the wat, that's the name since every time I tested it everyone came to the dance-floor.
What's your favorite track? Simon Posford - not a specific track, just listening to this piece of art. The best album ever at the age of 19.
Simon Posford debut Album: Twisted
Who’s a DJ you would like to play with? Wanted Eitan and Shahaf and played with both :)
What is your peak moment as a D.J? In a trance protest that resulted from cancelling the Doof.
Dekel and Eitan Raiter playing together for 50K people at the Trance protest in Israel
I was there of course, and that was epic.
What is the most embarrassing moment of yours as a DJ? One time at the Block, the table wasn't stable and someone from the crowd danced while hanging on to the table, and the table feltl onto the stage.
Fortunately, I caught the equipment and miraculously, the cables stayed connected and no one got hurt.
If you were a pop star, what star would you be? Kendrick Lamar - black music style, huge production.
How did you end up using your first name as your stage name? Dekel is my name, it perfectly reflects me. I also love the way it roll on people's mouth, no matter what is their accent.
Tell me something no one knows about you: I feed a wild rabbit in my studio on the kibbutz.
Message to the audience: Be yourself, spread free love