At the edge of the map, the end of knowledge: here be dragons. Where the light ends, where we cannot see, that is where we need to go. Yesterday the night took me down to Hoodna Bar, where Hoodna Orchestra played a set forged in the tenebrous depths, materials from their upcoming album Ofel (my rough translation: darkness). Tight, dark, with a sense of mystery, the thrill of danger, and a never-ending groove, the music filled the room, spilling out into the night. The 12 person band – Ilan Smilan – electric guitar & musical director, Amir Sadot – bass guitar, Matan Assayag – drums, Tomer Zuk – keyboards, Uri Selinger – trombone, Itamar Ben Yakir – trumpet, Elad Gellert – baritone sax, Rom Shani – alto sax, Eylon Tushiner – tenor sax, Raz Eytan – percussion, Rani Birenbaum – percussion, Shahar Ber – percussion – is as tight as the music, so together, surging with exultant energy, and each an individual, instruments sounding their separate hues, then merging again.
The room was full to the brim and overflowing. I was almost inside the percussion section, riding on the rhythms. Complex and primal, the music moving from head-banging immersion to ethereal melodies, an explosion of sound to the whisper of a breath – that was Hoodna Orchestra last night.