Exploratory guitarist Yonatan Gat finds inspiration across the world on his new album, Universalists | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Exploratory guitarist Yonatan Gat finds inspiration across the world on his new album, Universalists 

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click to enlarge Yonatan Gat

Yonatan Gat

Sofia Borges

Israel-born, New York-based guitarist Yonatan Gat is still best known for his stint in Tel Aviv trio Monotonix, who made a lasting impression on rock audiences last decade with their maniacal anything-goes showmanship and fiendish take on heavy garage rock; in fact their performances were so legendary their records often got short shrift in comparison, possibly due to lack of Smell-o-Vision and the slight but real chance of physical danger that came with being in their crowds. Ever since the band parted ways in 2011, Gat has been doing his best to remedy that injustice with a series of solo records that showcase his chops to mesmerizing effect. For his first full-length, Director (2005), he restlessly roamed the globe for inspiration and came back with Brazilian beats and Middle Eastern melodies as well as jazz experimentations and eerie avant-garde stylings. The new Universalists (Joyful Noise Recordings) has the same multicultural spirit as well as the meditative space to breathe on songs such as the gorgeous “Medicine,” a collaboration with the Eastern Medicine Singers, an Algonquin drum group. It all culminates in a mind-vibrating sonic collage, “The Imaginary.”   v

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