It should come as no surprise that after years of touring with his band Monotonix, once hailed by SPIN as "the most exciting live band in rock'n'roll", that Yonatan Gat would carry that same intensity in his own act. After five successful years, including one EP and two LP’s on Drag City and a world tour spanning 40 countries with his co-founded band, The New York-by-way-of-Tel-Aviv guitarist and composer took some time to himself, but not long before finding inspiration for a solo project while sound checking at a festival in Portugal.
The African influenced-punk tinged drums of Igor Domingues he heard on that sound check, inspired Gat to book a last minute improvised show with Domingues, which was recorded for a 7-inch EP called Live in Café au Lait. Gat soon returned to Portugal to record with Domingues in a studio in the large urban metropolis of Porto. Once there, Gat engineered, mixed and produced the album himself; playing every instrument except for drums played by Domingues. Inspired by the early work of Brazilian psychedelic experimentalists Os Mutantes. Gat’s truly amazing talents shine on Iberian Passage (out May 27th on Joyful Noise) as it blends together his punk rock influences with the improvisational spirit of Miles Davis. It can be heard in the lengthy shredded guitar riffs melted in between pulsing African inspired drums.
A masterful guitarist, Gat recently won Village Voice's "Best Guitarist of 2013". Live, his power trio is experienced on the floor inside the audience, with contrasted lighting pointing at the band members as they tear through "a wholly fresh fusion of psychedelic sounds and rhythms from around the globe, with nods to free jazz and served with an unabashed punk spirit". Gat's wildly inventive guitar assumes simultaneous lead and rhythm roles, blending punk rock with Middle Eastern styles, backed by Gal Lazer's hard-hitting African-influenced grooves and Sergio Sayeg's (of Brazilian psychedelic rockers Garotas Suecas) melodic anchor.
"Monotonix guitarist and string virtuoso Yonatan Gat has reinvented himself as a world-music riff maven" - Time Out New York
"Tropical psych-pop shredding" - Orlando Weekly
"Kaleidoscopic" - SPIN
"Gat’s Jimi-Hendrix-meets-Godzilla guitar tone is the instrument by which the band brings the arena-rock experience within your immediate reach and, because of the energy level relative to the scale, makes it more explosive and cathartic than anything you could ever see on a bigger stage" - NY Press
"While Monotonix exploits every cubic inch of a venue with vigor, Gat seems to want to scour every corner of the world, with equal intensity" - Chattanooga Pulse