MARBIN
Last Chapter Of Dreaming
(Moonjune)

 

The huge boom of melodic European progressive rock music took over big time back in the mid to late ‘70s thanks to sonic pioneers like Pekka Pohjola, Zamla, Focus and many other greats. One relatively recent group, from Israel, keeping that melodic jazz-rock aura alive in the 21st century is Marbin, and specifically the group’s excellent 2013 CD, Last Chapter Of Dreaming. Commenting on Last Chapter, Marbin guitarist Dani Rabin adds, 'Last Chapter was a HUGE production and we learned a lot and are extremely proud of the record. It’s the best thing we’ve ever done up to date.' In addition to the progressive Euro instrumental jazz-rock side, on some tracks you can also hear a definite Middle Eastern / Eastern European collage of musical genres. Dani Rabin invents a new guitar language in the finest spirits of guitar pioneers such as Jukka Tolonen and Jan Akkerman, while the driving melody-centric sax from Danny Markovitch sounds a bit influenced by the old Romania sounds of Klezmer swing icon Dave Tarras and in fact, some of this outstanding Marbin album reminds one of the mid ‘70s sound of Finnish World Beat exponents Piirpauke with Sakari Kukko. The third Marbin album, and second for Moonjune, Last Chapter Of Dreaming is strongly recommended to fans of the classic Eurock sound of the 1970's while World Music fans with an open ear to instrumental jazz-rock won’t go wrong with this album either. Long live the modern day composer. www.MarbinMusic.com


mwe3.com presents an interview with
Dani Rabin of MARBIN



mwe3: The new CD, Last Chapter Of Dreaming is great. Where does the CD find Marbin in their history now?

Dani Rabin: First of all I’m very glad you like it. In regards to where Last Chapter finds us, right now we are working on the road making a live album on tour so we are on to the next thing. We took Caleb Willitz, who recorded and mixed our debut album and was involved in the other two and even sang some choir parts on Last Chapter, on the road with us to record an entire tour and it’s very refreshing to record live and make non produced music for a change. It’s really a departure from what we have done in the past but the way the band evolved we developed a very strong live sound so it’s the right move. Last Chapter was a HUGE production and we learned a lot and are extremely proud of the record. It’s the best thing we’ve ever done up to date.

mwe3: How would you compare Last Chapter Of Dreaming with your earlier releases?

Dani Rabin: Compared to the other records I would say that the main difference is BALLS! It has more balls. I embraced the fact that I am not a jazz guitarist and that we are not a jazz band and we let the music come out the way it wanted to come out. There is much more rock in Marbin’s future! I love our other records too, but they evoke a different set of emotions.

mwe3: What’s the chemistry like between the members of Marbin?

Dani Rabin: The chemistry is great. We play together so much that we developed a group language and aesthetics. What I mean by that, is that we play so much and try things so much that we’ve developed real instincts in regards to what are good and bad musical choices and since so much of what we do is improvised, each member’s choices are crucial.

mwe3: How do each of the musicians compliment each other musically?

Dani Rabin: I can’t say enough good things about Justyn and Jae’s playing...they just groove and understand how to build dynamically. I really love playing with them! Also, the arrangements for a lot of the music on Last Chapter developed from playing live every night and just trying things spontaneously. Some shows you crash and burn and some shows you come up with something that just sticks and all of us try new things every night.

mwe3: As far as writing music in Marbin, how do you work compositionally with Danny Markovitch?

Dani Rabin: Compositionally, we wrote most of the stuff together. One person would come up with a melody and we’d work on it until it would become a song. The most important tool for composing is a pencil and manuscript paper! We put everything down on paper and it transforms ideas to a physical things. I really think that people should not let their melodies float in the air and put them down on paper. It makes you confront what you wrote and helps you edit and improve it.

mwe3: What does the title of Last Chapter Of Dreaming mean to you?

Dani Rabin: My favorite record growing up was Secret Story by the Pat Metheny Group. I fell in love with that huge worldly production. I feel like it really planted something in me that led to the type of production and sound that I was going for in our 3 albums... that dreamy type of sound. I do feel like this record is the a completion of this vision (a last chapter) and now Marbin will be chasing a new aesthetic that is truer to the live sound we developed.

mwe3: Can you say something about that cool Last Chapter Of Dreaming CD cover art?

Dani Rabin: Brin Levinson made the artwork for every one of our records and the man is a genius! I really love his work and people should check out his web site for more of his art.

mwe3: What guitars are you featuring on the Last Chapter Of Dreams album and how about the other gear, amps, effects, favorite mics, that you’re featuring on the new album? How has your choice of guitars changed over the years and what do you look for in a guitar?

Dani Rabin: STRAT! This record is 95 percent Strat, the only guitar I play.

I also used a nylon string and a 60 dollar steel string acoustic that I bought myself as a 21st birthday gift. Nice guitars are nice but overrated.

For an amp I used my CAE OD-100 with a suhrx12 and a Kerry Wright 4x12 mic’ed with an SM 57 real close and a Cole ribbon a bit further away.

I use a variety of pedals but mainly the Maxon sd9 and OD9 the Xotic RC booster and the Xotic Robotalk on “Redline”. I also used the Eventide pitch factor for the solo in “On The Square” (octaver) and in “The Way To Riches” (analog synth). I decided to be a big boy and record dry on this one and put delays and ‘verb later when we mix...and it was a painful experience, I hate playing dry.

I look for a sound that makes sense in the context of the song. Unless it’s an acoustic thing a Strat ALWAYS makes perfect sense to me!

mwe3: Do you also play acoustic guitars and/or other fretboard instruments?

Dani Rabin: I do play acoustic guitars but no other fretted instruments.

mwe3: And as far as practice goes, what do you usually practice on guitar to keep your hands and mind in shape?

Dani Rabin: I love practicing. I guess the most important thing is being honest with yourself about what you know and what you don’t know and what you can do and cannot do. If you can stand to be honest with yourself you’ll always know what the next step is in terms of practice.

I work out things I don’t know. What I found out is that if you’re having fun practicing you are probably working on something that you either know or kind of know. Practicing shit you don’t know how to do requires confronting inability and fixing bad habits. This is some ego shattering unpleasant shit and is NOT fun. So whenever I’m suffering and feeling frustrated while practicing I plow through it because I know that I’m expanding and that my feelings are growing pains.

The truth is that people that are willing to change as people are the only ones that practice can make better. The way I see it, the ability to change is talent.

You practice and practice until music makes a demand. In the beginning it’s small like use this finger instead of that one. Then it gets bigger like use this system instead of that one (harmony, scales, theory etc.…) and then it asks you to listen to yourself and others differently or party less to have more time to practice and then it’s quit your job so you could go on the road. Then it’s be gone months at a time. The ones that love it enough and keep saying yes to everything music demands from them get better and better because they are willing to change as people.

People always compare getting better at music to climbing a mountain then reaching a plateau, walking through it and then climbing again etc... that’s bullshit!

You have to constantly come back to the start in music. It’s all a big circle and every time that you get back to the start you learn something deep. The reason is that by the time you did the lap you’ve changed as a person and you are (hopefully) ready to see new things. Like walking into a room you’ve been to a thousand times and focusing your eyes on some detail you’ve never seen before.

mwe3: What’s the song writing process like in Marbin?

Dani Rabin: Song writing always happens in the same way. We start from scratch because an empty slate is where it all happens. We come up with a melody and a harmony. We usually write songs in one sitting and then they arrange themselves over time through live performance.

If you close your eyes and just try to write good music right now you will be confronted with what good music means to you at this moment and that you need to have.

mwe3: Can you tell the readers about your early interest in music and what was it like growing up in Israel? And how about your big musical influences, favorite albums, guitarists and musical genres? It seems Israel is such a rich country for musical experiences with so many diverse cultures and people living there from various countries around the world. Also I can sense the Israeli / old world Europe sound is alive and well in Marbin.

Dani Rabin: I got into metal when I was 13 and started playing guitar around 15 I really was into Metallica, Megadeth and Pantera initially and slowly got into people like Malmsteen, Steve Vai, Greg Howe etc... I was very moved by their music. In particular I can remember a Tony Macalpine record called Maximum Security that blew me away.

Then I found out out about Victor Wooten somehow and bought the first Vital Tech Tones record which had Scott Henderson on guitar. I really didn’t care for the guitar playing at that point but I decided to get some Tribal Tech records from Amazon, there were none in Israel at the time, and I was blown away by Face First and Illicit. I played those records all the time.

Then one day, my mom came home with Secret Story by Pat Metheny and Astor Piazolla Tango Zero Hour. Those two records changed my life. I just loved that music very deeply and had a very profound experience listening.

Growing up in Israel was great! I love it there and a lot of the Israeli folk music is a part of me. We really have great singers and songwriters there. Another HUGE influence, probably the biggest, is Leonard Cohen. I am a mega fan and he is my absolute favorite musician!

mwe3: What’s it like recording for Moonjune? It seems they’re keeping the progressive music spirit alive and best thing is they’re also keeping interest in the historical aspects of some of the greats from the past.

Dani Rabin Moonjune is great and Leonardo is great! I do like a lot of that stuff particularly Allan Holdsworth.

mwe3: How is the current Marbin tour going?

Dani Rabin: Touring is getting better and better and more people coming out and buying CDs. There is a real music hunger in the US now and I’m happy to play for people that come for the ride. Obviously it’s still a struggle but we are young and are paying are dues I suppose.

mwe3: I was reading Marbin is the hardest working band in progressive music these days. What do you like best and least about the U.S.?

Dani Rabin: I like how almost everywhere we go we seem to find people that connect with our music and I like that you can drive everywhere without borders, obviously that’s not the case in Israel. I dislike the fact that there are almost no channels left to get to people that I know would like our music and inform them about us.

mwe3: What are your plans and plans for Marbin for the coming year and what would you like to accomplish both as a guitarist and a recording and performing / recording band in the coming years?

Dani Rabin: Like I said before we are making a live record now and I’m excited about that! After that we will learn some new songs and start playing them live. We have a lot of music written that we didn’t have a chance to learn yet. But in terms of hopes and goals we all feel very ready to become famous so that’s what we’re working on. Getting the word out there, getting people to shows and more music on the radio. We also hope to get to Israel and Europe this year.


Thanks to Dani Rabin @ www.marbinmusic.com and to Moonjune Records @ www.moonjune.com

 

 
   
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