Jonathan’s presence in Tel Aviv’s culture is cemented via his heavy involvement with underground music, as a founder of Teder.FM, the independent radio station housed in an old shopping and apartment complex— also home to a pizza stand, record store, and massive techno dance parties that take over the courtyard. Maya came to the nightlife scene as a club-kid, frequenting Teder, among many of the city’s other spots. The two talk about their mutual home, community of artistic friends, and how techno has changed them.
M - How has Tel Aviv changed in the last few years in terms of parties and nightlife? It seems to have gotten a Berlin vibe.
J - Things started to turn a few years ago and the Tel Aviv-Berlin bond got a bit "tighter.” With the flights getting a lot cheaper, Berliners discovered Tel Aviv and the Israelis realized how much cheaper it is to live in Berlin. When you add techno and Berghain, which became the club mecca that runs the nightlife, you get a city which has changed [compared] to 7 years ago, when the eyes were still set more to what runs in London or even Paris.
What is your artistic and creative background? Can you tell us some interesting projects and people you’ve worked with?
I worked and took part in a lot of things I dreamed about when I was a teenager… I worked as a music and nightlife journalist for 5 years, so I had the chance to interview a lot of musicians and DJ’s I looked up to. For example, I remember interviewing Nicolas Jaar a week before his debut album when he was just another DJ, John Talabot, Night Slugs Crew (L-VIS 1990 and Bok Bok), Optimo, Greame Park and even Moby (he was half asleep on the phone from Moscow). I think I interviewed more than 400 people while working at the paper — from everyone you learn something. Because I worked in the local scene for years (even as a club selector!) I had the opportunity to host people and acts that came to perform here… Sbtrkt, Mac Demarco, Jamie XX...
Can you tell us about the creative projects you’re involved with now and what they are?
For the past three years I’ve been in "Garden City Movement." A band's life is very demanding. I also work as an art director for "Anova/Bldg5" which are local indie labels under the same roof and take part at the Teder.FM Radio, which I worked on from day one, seven years ago. Even though I don’t have as much time I’ve had before, I still give what I can to the radio as I still feel it’s kind of my baby too.
How do you contribute to the creative scene of Tel Aviv?
I had my share of years when all I wanted to do was to push the local scene — I did it through the parts I fulfilled in the local nightlife/music/art scene. I guess the journalist part was the biggest. Now I guess I’m more of ambassador of the city while I’m touring with the band.
What is the difference between being “Tel Avivian” and “Israeli”?
Going to be a smart-ass and answer with one word: EVERYTHING.
How have you been influenced by other countries and traveling?
You always take something from places you visit but there’s something in being from Tel Aviv that makes you a bit arrogant — that you know better than everyone, they just haven’t acknowledged you or your city yet. I find being on the road as something that is very healing to me. You can deal with stuff better while moving.
Where would you like to see Tel Aviv go in the next 5-10 years?
I hope it will get a bit more diverse again in the nightlife, it became a bit repetitive in the last 2 or 3 years. I have a wish, which I know can't be fulfilled, that the city will stop from being so expensive, as it gets hard to live here. It will have consequences, and bad ones [at that], in terms of culture, art, and just young people that won’t have a place to live in the city.
What are your favorite Tel Aviv spots?
Teder is a second home for me, Port Said, K, Breakfast Club, there’s many more depends on who plays and where.
What will you do in the next few months, and next year?
New album and touring, working on a fashion project so I’ll have a few trips to Tokyo and just let stuff happen, you can never really know what the future will bring, and why would you want to?