Yonatan Gat
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Yonatan Gat

Yonatan Gat
Yonatan Gat performing in FME Festival in Quebec in 2018.jpeg
Yonatan Gat performing in FME Festival in Quebec, September 2018
Background information
GenresPunk rock, improvisation, avant garde, free jazz, psychedelic rock
InstrumentsGuitar, bass, piano, organ, drums, percussion, vocals
LabelsJoyful Noise Records, Drag City Records
Monotonix, David Berman (Silver Jews), Max Almario, Thor Harris (Swans), Greg Saunier (Deerhoof), Brian Chase (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Tal National, Thee Oh Sees, Sun Ra Arkestra, Nels Cline, Os Mutantes, Calvin Johnson (Beat Happening), Eastern Medicine Singers, Gal Lazer, Sergio Sayeg

Yonatan Gat is an experimental guitarist and composer based in New York, known for cross-genre improvisations which combine punk and avant-garde with a multitude of styles from around the world. [1][2]

While performing with his first band, Monotonix, in Israel, Gat was banned from playing shows in clubs across his home country due to the confrontational nature of the band's concerts. Despite the controversy, they were known for their work ethic and would go on to perform an infamous run of 1000 concerts around the world in five years, leading Gat to a nomadic lifestyle that helped shape his universal approach to sound.

After relocating to Paris, Porto, and New Orleans, Gat ended up settling in New York, where his work was praised by The New York Times, Rolling Stone, The Wire, UNCUT, NPR, Vice, The New Yorker and People Magazine.[3][4]The Village Voice named him "Best Guitarist in New York, 2013".[5]


As Member of Monotonix

Gat first came to prominence as the guitarist and founder of Monotonix.[6] After finding themselves banned from most venues in their country due to the wild and controversial nature of their concerts, the band decided to leave Israel and tour the United States and Europe, gaining notoriety and praise for their revolutionary live shows. With Monotonix, Gat released an EP and two albums on Drag City Records. The guitar work in these recordings was praised early on by the likes of Pitchfork mentioning "guitarist Yonatan Gat slides in and out of solos without ever throwing the rhythm off the rails. The descending guitar line that follows is sweet and yearning enough to fit onto a damn Strokes record."[7]

During the band's 5-year existence, Gat played 1,000 concerts as its guitarist and co-founder, collaborating with musicians such as Fugazi's Ian Mackaye and Guy Picciotto and Beat Happening and K Records founder Calvin Johnson, while touring as support band for Pavement, Faith No More and Silver Jews. The latter's frontman David Berman would go on to co-produce Gat's 2018 sophomore LP Universalists.[8] In 2008, Monotonix were called "the most exciting live band in rock 'n' roll" by Spin Magazine.[9]

As Composer and Solo Artist

After Monotonix's final world tours in 2011, Gat stayed in New York, completing a degree in anthropology under a scholarship from Columbia University, and in 2014 began recording and performing as a bandleader and solo-artist, engaging Gal Lazer (drums) and Sergio Sayeg (bass) as his core studio-collaborators while expanding his projects to include musicians such as Brian Chase (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Greg Saunier (Deerhoof) and Thor Harris (Swans).[10]

His new sound maintained the confrontational punk urgency of Monotonix, this time using improvisation and advanced editing techniques as composition methods, while incorporating influences from various genres of music from around the world.

Gat began touring the United States and Europe both as headliner and sharing the stage and with Of Montreal, Thee Oh Sees, and Sun Ra Arkestra, often performing his set on the floor in the middle of the audience.[11][12] He released his debut EP, Iberian Passage, written and recorded while he was living in Portugal, in the spring of 2014 on Joyful Noise Recordings and his full-length studio album debut, Director, followed in 2015. Within months of Director's premiere, an EP produced by Steve Albini titled Physical Copy followed.[13][10][14] Gat's band performed in SXSW that year and was praised by BuzzFeed and SPIN as one of the best shows of the festival.[15][16][17][18]

Gat's latest album, Universalists, was released through Joyful Noise Records on May 4th, 2018.[19] In that same year he went on to release a split 7-inch with Os Mutantes, play a guest solo on "most popular modern band in Niger" Tal National's new album, and premiere (on cinema outlet NOWNESS) a collaboration with a Rhode Island Algonquin powwow drum ensemble - the Eastern Medicine Singers. The album's release was followed by a world tour, often with Gat backed by an 8-piece band which included members of his own ensemble of musicians, as well as the Native American drummers and singers of the Eastern Medicine Singers.

Musical style and equipment

Gat's recorded output is mostly instrumental and uses improvisation and editing as compositional tools. It is built around his guitar playing, while containing heavy use of field recordings, as well as sung and sampled vocals (his own, his bandmembers', his collaborators' and vocal field recordings collected around the world).

While recorded live in the studio, Gat's albums contain heavy use of editing techniques influenced by a wide range of producers from Miles Davis's Teo Macero productions to Kanye West's Yeezus. His music was defined by Magnet Magazine as "Melding improvisation, world music, punk and avant-garde into a vital new music form." [20][21][22][23]

Gat has endorsement deals with Guild Guitars and Ernie Ball Strings. He often performs with a Guild S200 Thunderbird connected directly to a 1980s silverface Fender Twin Reverb amp with 1960s JBL speakers. He prominently uses the amplifier's reverb and tremolo but usually refrains from using effect pedals, opting instead to focus on the instrument's natural wide dynamic range, from punk and noise attacks to gentler Erik Satie-esque melodies.[24]


  1. ^ "Review: Yonatan Gat Shreds Protocol in a Rampant Concert". The New York Times. Retrieved .
  2. ^ Spacek, Nick (2015-01-30). "Monotonix's Yonatan Gat on the art of improvised rock and roll, at Riot Room on Sunday | The Fast Pitch". Pitch.com. Retrieved .
  3. ^ Heigl, Alex (2015-05-18). "Yonatan Gat: Director Out on Joyful Noise". People.com. Retrieved .
  4. ^ Cohan, Brad (2015-02-24). "Listen to 'Director,' Yonatan Gat's Free-Improv Psychedelic Shred LP | NOISEY". Noisey.vice.com. Retrieved .
  5. ^ "Best Guitarist New York 2013 - Yonatan Gat". Villagevoice.com. Retrieved .
  6. ^ Gregory Heaney. "Monotonix | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved .
  7. ^ "Pitchfork Review Body Language by Monotonix". Pitchfork. 2008-06-25. Retrieved .
  8. ^ Monotonix. "Monotonix Videos". Dragcity.com. Retrieved .
  9. ^ "Monotonix". Spin. 2008-06-25. Retrieved .
  10. ^ a b Weiss, Dan. "Ex-Monotonix Guitarist Yonatan Gat Gets Psychedelic on 'Iberian Passage' EP". SPIN.com. Retrieved .
  11. ^ "Yonatan Gat readies new LP (stream a song), playing NYC release show, touring w/ Of Montreal & other dates". Brooklynvegan.com. 2015-02-13. Retrieved .
  12. ^ Terry, Josh (2015-03-12). "Live Review: of Montreal and Yonatan Gat at NYC's Webster Hall (3/11)". Consequenceofsound.net. Retrieved .
  13. ^ "Yonatan Gat | Iberian Passage | Joyful Noise Recordings". www.joyfulnoiserecordings.com. Retrieved .
  14. ^ Yarbrough, Marshall (2015-03-04). "Music Features: Yonatan Gat Fuses Jazz Prowess with Punk Energy | Flagpole Magazine | Athens, GA News, Music, Arts, Restaurants". Flagpole.com. Retrieved .
  15. ^ "Yonatan Gat | SXSW 2015 Event Schedule". Schedule.sxsw.com. Retrieved .
  16. ^ "The 11 Most FOMO-Worthy Performances Of SXSW 2015". Buzzfeed.com. 2015-03-07. Retrieved .
  17. ^ Weiss, Dan. "SXSW 2015: The Six Best Things We Saw on Day Three". SPIN.com. Retrieved .
  18. ^ Weiss, Dan. "SXSW 2015: The 21 Best Things We Saw in Austin". SPIN.com. Retrieved .
  19. ^ "Yonatan Gat | Universalists | Joyful Noise Recordings". www.joyfulnoiserecordings.com. Retrieved .
  20. ^ "Yonatan Gat of Monotonix Readies EP". Austintownhall.com. 2014-03-24. Retrieved .
  21. ^ Fred Thomas (2015-03-03). "Director - Yonatan Gat | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved .
  22. ^ "Yonatan Gat: Director | Album Reviews". Pitchfork.com. 2015-04-02. Retrieved .
  23. ^ "Yonatan Gat brings some 'world punk' to San Francisco this weekend". Thebaybridged.com. Retrieved .
  24. ^ "Rolling Stone Guitar Albums Reviews". rollingstone.com. Retrieved .

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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