One month after Hamas’s deadly Oct. 7 attack on Israel, a group of electronic music stars is promoting a new 73-track project to raise money for victims of the Supernova festival massacre.
The Bring Them Back compilation spans the electronic gamut from trance to techno, with contributions from many of Israel’s biggest names, including Infected Mushroom, Astrix, Red Axes and Astral Projection. At least 260 people were slaughtered – and dozens more abducted – when Hamas fighters attacked the Supernova psytrance festival produced by Israel-based Nova Tribe in Israel’s Negev Desert, about three miles from the Gaza border.
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“The Tribe of Nova crew that organized the event that was raided by Hamas are good friends of mine,” Astrix, whose real name is Avi Shmailov, tells Rolling Stone. “The psytrance tribe is tight, we all know each other. The hundreds of innocent dancers who were murdered, seriously injured and kidnapped are like my family. The thousands of others who somehow made it through are also hurting badly. We want to help them in any way we can.”
Shmailov contributed “Shamanic Tales,” the opening track off his last album, to the project now available for purchase on Bandcamp. He was on tour in Brazil when heavily armed Hamas militants stormed the festival. He later learned Avi Sasi, the uncle of his Moonclipse Techno project partner Omri Sasi, died when he reportedly jumped on a grenade thrown into a shelter where festivalgoers were hiding. “They could only identify his body by his jewelry,” Shmailov says, describing Avi as “the kind of person you fall in love with the minute you meet him.”
The musician says he also knows some of the hostages reportedly being held by Hamas. Asked for his thoughts on the broader conflict that has now engulfed the region – one that includes unprecedented retaliatory air strikes and a ground offensive from Israel that reportedly have killed 10,000 Gaza residents – Shmailov said he doesn’t have answers, only hopes for peace.
“I’m a simple guy, an artist, a musician. I don’t see myself as someone who has the knowledge to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, just because millions of people happen to connect to my music,” he tells Rolling Stone. “Innocent people from both sides are victims of Hamas here, I feel. Hopefully once they are gone, we can find a way to live in peace. I have fans from many Arab countries, and I communicate with them regularly for years. We meet in festivals. I know and they know we can all live together in peace.”
Money raised by the Bring Them Back compilation will be donated to survivors of the festival massacre and the relatives of those who were murdered, kidnapped or remain missing, the Electronic Music Community, the organization behind the project, says. Some of the funds will support psychological treatment as well as the establishment of a treatment center with accommodations, the group says.
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