South From Here


Winter Family is a duo of Ruth Rosenthal and Xavier Klaine who met in Jaffa in 2004. Their dark, saturated and dense music is described as "death swing", "weird wave" or "funeral pop". Their self-titled debut (2007) offered minimal music played by Xavier on pipe organ, harmoniums and piano backing strict spoken-word texts chanted by Ruth. Their second album, Red Sugar (SR 315CD/AV 032LP, 2011) was highly praised by critics. After they toured the world with their theatrical documentary Jerusalem Cast Lead (2011), they moved to Flatbush, Brooklyn. Attracted by New York/West Indian/Caribbean culture of their neighborhood, they started writing a new album. The block parties, community parades, and helicopters are frequent and Winter Family systematically capture all these sounds for their theatrical documentary work, some of them are also found on South From Here. At the end of 2012, Hurricane Sandy drowned all their equipment. They bought an old drum machine and an old synth and discovered sounds that were to make up the final color of South From Here. They began to mix South From Here in a cellar in Jaurès inspired by the sound of the Pierre Carré Orchestra and the reverb sounds at the Foire du Trône city fair. They recorded new parts of the album on tour - in the Guggenheim house in Kobe, Japan and during organ, voice and absinthe night sessions in the German Temple in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. For uncertain reasons, they then settled opposite Banana Beach in Tel Aviv. Ruth's lyrics attempt to translate the blindness into which Israeli society is definitively sinking. They published No World in collaboration with Yochai Matos (2015), released a cassette on the micro label Psychic Mule (2014), and completed South From Here, recording saccharine arrangements inspired by local weddings. The result of this long and painful calypso process is a mixture of pessimism and acceptance they summarize with these words: "Life is Beautiful". On South From Here, Ruth plays machines, drums, beatbox, and sings. Xavier plays old organs, synth, celesta, and piano. Some friends and their daughter join them here and there on the record: Ben McConnell (drums), Fabien Lehalle (bass), Victor Gachet (snare drum), Saralei Klaine (gaming and voice) and the voices of actors from Chekhov's The Seagull by Arthur Nauzyciel (Adèle Haenel, Dominique Reymond, Laurent Poitrenaud, Marie-Sophie Ferdane, etc.)