Monday, January 25, 2016

Ausweis

Guy Katz, Ant Weiss, Michael Gorodinsky, Sergey Engel
ZOA, Tel Aviv, 1998
Ausweis were a Jerusalem band, comprised of teens who did aliyah (google it) from the USSR to Israel among with many soviets during the 90's. As foreigners who don't speak the language, and coming out of different culture and education, they didn't fit in, and felt out of their place. So was their music. Ausweis didn't fit into any local scene and were very isolated musically.

Formed by vocalist Anton Weiss in 1994 after meeting guitarists Eddie Korshonsky (who passed away of a heart attack before the first rehearsal) and Sergey Stephanoff.
Sergey brought Gena Yashinsky (drums), and this line up was supported by Ilia Mazya (who was playing in another russian band called Peregrin Krol) on bass for a one show.
Sergey Engel joined later that year, as permanent bass player. Another thing he contributed was "punk terminvox", an electric device he created while being young, which makes noise once fingers touch it and electricity start to flow, the terminvox was mostly played by Anton.
Second guitarist, Jenya Hermatzki joined for a short time somewhere between 1994-95, and was replaced by Guy Katz, who eventually became only guitar player when Stephanoff left to Canada.
The band saw two more drummers during their existence, Ofer Melech (95-96) and Michael Gorodinsky as the last one.
Ausweis described their music as "Ambient Hardcore Jazz-Trash Band" and I'm not gonna argue, but if it was up to me I'd just said experimental funk metal and call it a day. Someone once said their music sounds like a blend of Helmet, Klaus Nomi and Rammstein, all I can add is you should put some more ingredients in the blender if you want the right recipe for what they sound like.



Comintern.com is their debut and only official release, recorded in December 1997, released a year later by local label Earsay, thanks to a guy named Michael Merese (the stoner looking guy in the documentary below) who got the money to fund it and help a lot to promote the band. Also contributed guitars was Dave K. of the band Rabies Caste

1. Comiraden (contains samples of Maria Ulyanova as vocals)
2. Inside
3. Carpenter
4. Twist
5. Hurt
6. Vint 2
7. Pain Killer
8. Trackrek
9. Working Class Hero (John Lennon Cover)
10. Vint 3
11. מוות (Death)


Meanwhile, while the album slowly gets to your music library, you can watch this great short-documentary by Duki Dror, released in 1999, after Ausweis were already dead (english translation)



Now, here is their (very unofficial) "discography" for you rarities seekers

Engel, Jenya Hermatzki, Gena Yashinsky, Weiss, Stephanoff
Arad Festival, 1994


Live Bootleg at Pargod, Jerusalem, 1994, presents their early incarnation. Very russian-like alternative rock, mediocre, without any of their future experimental side. The music here is so far than their true sound to come, that without Anton's vocals, you wouldn't recognise the band.
15 untitled songs, some jump, some repeat themselves (by purpose or by accident I don't know, not my recording). This absolutely doesn't represent Ausweis! posted it for collectors who may wanna hear.

Here's a part of a rehearsal session at Tzolelet Tzehoba, Jerusalem, from 1996 featuring one 17 minutes track of two songs, one called Fat Boy and one is untitled being rehearsed. Fat Boy is sang by Stephanoff.

"Ausweis Tape", is an unofficial tape (who's maker is unknown) compiling unpublished studio recording of the band circa 1996. All of the tracks were recorded live in a studio in Haifa unless credited from somewhere else. Don't miss it if you like them

Stephanoff, Ofer Melech, Weiss, Katz, Engel
A show in Haifa
1. Into My Blood
2. Will You Throw It All Away
3. Suicide (recorded free with a sound engineer student as part of his studies)
4. Let Me Out (recorded at Keshet Studios, Jerusalem - first studio recording of the band)
5. Race
6. מוות (Death) (Early Version)
7. Daddy
8. אני השמש (I'm The Sun)
9. Cork II
10 אסור לעשן (No Smoking)

The Ausweis Tape

While being isolated musically, Ausweis usually gigged with punk bands. During 1997 they performed their notorious show, among with punksters Sartan Hashad, on which they sang their song Death, which lyrics are death wishing to a long list of famous people, ending with "death to arabs, death to jews, death to god". An early rumour calling them nazis, didn't help to prevent some skinheads who jumped at the stage and made a riot, causing the anarcho-punks helping Ausweis in the short fist fight who's parts of it can be seen in the docu movie.
That's a very nice story but why does it belong here ? by a way I really can't remember I got an audio bootleg of that show
Katz, Weiss, Gorodinsky, Engel

1. Intro
2. Carpenter
3. Hurt
4. Inside
5. Twist
6. Untitled Song
7. Pain Killer
8. מוות (Death)

Live bootleg at Beit Lessin, Tel Aviv (1997.03.13)

5 comments:

  1. thanks a million. first time i hear about them.

    ReplyDelete
  2. don't miss the movie tami, it's very interesting

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  3. thanks a lot! this is a very complete history of Ausweis.
    And quite a precise one.
    BTW - the stoner looking guy's last name is Merese not Marsa.

    best regards,

    Ant Weiss

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Anton, will fix it
      I remember you had a blog called Red Square, don't you feel like bringing it back to life ?

      Delete