Her 1997 debut album “Dissected” has positioned Meira Asher as an emblematic figure who represents an uncompromising, politically-aware, peace-seeking generation of Israeli musicians. Her new album “Spears Into Hooks” will come as a shock to those who got to know her in her previous work, as a singer, drummer, and specialist of West African and Indian traditional music. She has been studying and mastering a number of sophisticated, cutting-edge composition techniques which are currently used in electronic music (in both senses of the term: ‘serious’ as well as dance-derived varieties of electronica).
“Spears Into Hooks” presents itself in the shape of an electronic opera, which will appeal simultaneously to the young fan of The Aphex Twin and to the admirer of Penderecki. A free-association test performed on a panel of initial (and initiated) listeners has shown a recurrence of the following words, in no particular order: Industrial Drill’n’Bass, Captain Beefheart, Autechre, Public Image Limited, Kurt Weill/Lotte Lenya, Post-Illbient, Avant-Rock meets Electro Dub Infection, German Expressionism, Bulgarian mourning ceremonies…
“All spears bent into hooks for the animals we become, to be hung in our traditional slaughter-houses” says Meira, in a sinister distortion of the biblical phrase which appears both in the books of Isaiah and Micah: “and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more”. Whereas the texts on “Dissected” dealt with a variety of subjects, this album is entirely devoted to the socio-political crisis in Israel/Palestine, and the idea that real mutual understanding will only have a chance to appear if all the nightmares that haunt the collective minds of both people are mercilessly exposed, bravely dealt with, and honestly taken into account by all parties concerned.