Raquy and The Cavemen - Press


Live Reviews:
MSN Music review from Floydfest

"Ashkenaz" Festival, Toronto

CD Reviews:
Smother.net

Evolution of Media

Indie-music.com

Subba-Cultcha.com

Florida Entertainment Scene

NY Post

Exclaim Magazine

Skratch Magazine

Inside World Music

Splendid Magazine


MSN Music
Christopher Hart

"At Floydfest in Floyd, VA, the Middle Eastern beats coming from the Global Village attracted music lovers like bees to pollen. The drumming of Raquy and the Cavemen of Brooklyn, NY, brings traditional Middle Eastern music and modern drumming to a pinnacle. The drummers of Raquy and the Cavemen were all once students of Raquy. Raquy has travelled to many distant countries including those in the Middle East, Egypt and India, where she has experienced and absorbed vast amounts of musical culture. She uses all this knowledge to bring an amazing act to the stage.

Raquy performs with the dumbek and the kemenche, also known as the spike fiddle. It is an instrument from Iran, which is much like a violin, except instead of moving the bow around the instrument to hit the different strings, the kemenche sits on a spike that allows the musician to rotate the fiddle itself while the bow stands stationary.

Raquy and the Cavemen allow the listener to experience the musical cultures from The Middle East and Egypt and fuse them with Liron Peled's hard rock drumming background. Incidentally, Raquy and Liron have tied the knot and reside in the ever-hip Williamsburg section of Brooklyn along with the rest of the Cavemen.

The Global Stage was a place of psychic transport when Raquy and the Cavemen took the stage. The name Cavemen is appropriate due to the rawness of the beats, and there is also a timeless property to the music that makes it impossible to dislike. The whole experience of the music takes you on a journey to the roots of Middle Eastern drumming and as soon as that kemenche starts flowing the trip goes deeper. Its sound is like a close stare into the eyes and soul of the Middle Eastern culture that lives inside the music. Raquy brings forth the experience of an ancient culture straight to the stage for everyone to reflect, react and rotate to. Daphna Mor, originally from Tel Aviv, Israel, leaves all who witness her playing with a smiling jaw-dropped expression when she plays two recorders simultaneously that evoke an echoing, resonating sound.

Raquy and the Cavemen played the closing set at Floydfest, and were cheered on by an enthusiastic crowd. Their previous sets at Floyd left a buzz around the grounds that let everyone know where to spend their remaining time at the festival. The Hill Holler Stage hosted the closing set of the fest and had a nicely saturated mud pit in front of the stage. Mud or not, people danced, shook and spun and sooner or later took a face plant into the mess. As the beats flowed, cheers and hollers filled the foggy air of Floyd. The love that each band member has for their instrument is especially evident when they are all on stage. They move fluidly to the enchanted drumming, mystical kemenche and melodious recorder. Find one of their shows and be enriched, encouraged and energized."

A different write-up about the same festival, also by Chris Hart:
"The quite amazing Raquy and the Cavemen of Brooklyn, NY closed the festival at the Hill Holler Stage on Sunday night with a free-dancing, mud slung crowd who begged for more when the show came to an end. The combination of Raquy Danziger's Middle Eastern musical talent and her husband's hard-rock background, brought Raquy and the Cavemen's powerful sound to the fore. The unreal ability of the band to leave their audiences in awe was the buzz across the Floydfest grounds."


Live Reviews:
MSN Music review from Floydfest

"Ashkenaz" Festival, Toronto

CD Reviews:
Smother.net

Evolution of Media

Indie-music.com

Subba-Cultcha.com

Florida Entertainment Scene

NY Post

Exclaim Magazine

Skratch Magazine

Inside World Music

Splendid Magazine


Exclaim Magazine (Canada)
David Dacks 

"Raquy and the Cavemen’s "Dust", released at the beginning of the year, was one of the most notable fusions of Levantine riddims with hard rock and electronic touches. Most excitingly, this fusion is contained almost entirely in the songwriting and the playing; it doesn’t sound studio-bound in the least.

Touching down amid the heavily klezmerised Ashkenaz festival, Raquy may have been a little too intense for some of the bubbies and zaydes in the crowd, but their children and their children’s children were swept up in the grooves.

The Cavemen are composed of two multi-percussionists, a bassist, a woodwind player and husband Liron Peled, who played acoustic guitar and hand drums. Immediately the complexity of the music was apparent as bass lines chased percussion patterns against complex time signatures and microtonal harmonies. The opening tune’s strummed yet foreboding chords on guitar added to the distinctive percussive harmonies.

It was a remarkable demonstration of what Page and Plant have always wanted to do but have never succeeded at.

As Peled peeled off one Zeppelin III riff after another, the energy increased and Raquy entered with the kemeche, or Iranian violin. She sawed away at dark harmonies against the guitar, her playing becoming more powerful as the soundman got a handle on how to mix the instrument. The crowd was intrigued but not enraptured until the next few pieces, which were dedicated to traditional forms.

Accompanied by a quartet of hand drums, Raquy showed off her formidable command of the dumbek. She bent the pitch of notes, used a variety of striking techniques and even showed some choreographed moves with Liron — this performance was as much a clinic as a show.

The finale was a suitable climax, departing the Middle East for Bulgaria. Woodwind player Daphna Mor did Roland Kirk justice by jamming two recorders into her mouth and harmonising with the kemenche. Next time, I hope Liron will get into some of the thrashy guitars and menacing electronics that made Dust even more intense, but this was still a very satisfying afternoon."


Live Reviews:
MSN Music review from Floydfest

"Ashkenaz" Festival, Toronto

CD Reviews:
Smother.net

Evolution of Media

Indie-music.com

Subba-Cultcha.com

Florida Entertainment Scene

NY Post

Exclaim Magazine

Skratch Magazine

Inside World Music

Splendid Magazine


Smother.net
J-Sin

Imagine what would happen if you took the world’s expert on a Middle Eastern drum known as the dumbek and set her to work on forging a new form of rock. The result is an impressive and simply staggering exaggeration of percussion from the Middle Eastern version of “Dueling Banjos” on “Dueling Darbukas” to “Riq Samai” with its amazing ten beat cycle and 6/8 time signatures.

Other instruments that are featured on “Jordan” include recorder, nai, zils, bendir, riq, dahula, oud, bassoon, Moog synthesizers, bass, guitar, drums, and kemenche. What’s most incredible is the very depth that Raquy and her fellow musicians can undertake without it coming across as this cerebral snobbish piece. Listen to the moods that permeate your soul on “Caravan”, originally written as an opening piece for belly dancer Jehan, and you’ll be instantly as hooked as I am.


Live Reviews:
MSN Music review from Floydfest

"Ashkenaz" Festival, Toronto

CD Reviews:
Smother.net

Evolution of Media

Indie-music.com

Subba-Cultcha.com

Florida Entertainment Scene

NY Post

Exclaim Magazine

Skratch Magazine

Inside World Music

Splendid Magazine


Evolution of Media  -  ****
Maurice

When Raquy Danziger, who plays the Iranian Kamanche, a rare and exotic bowed instrument and the Dumbek an Arabic hand drum teams up with rock musician Liron Peled what you get is an explosive dose of Middle Eastern-Rock-Fusion.

Raquy's second release Jordan is a testament to great music merging together to create oneness. Raquy and The Cavemen will electrify you with their hard hitting rhythms, and progessive drum playing. It's great belly-dancing music. There is not per say any singles on Jordan it's definitely a record that is to be experienced in it's full content.

Backed by Arab and Israeli musician Jordan doesn't only display fun and innovative songs, but uncovers that Raquy and The Cavemen are superior live performance artist. All thoughout Jordan you feel like you are listening to a spectacular live show.

Overall, I view Raquy and The Cavemen's Jordan as a sure crowd pleaser, Jordan will captivate you just playing in the background at a social gathering, bring peace to your soul while listening on a Sunday afternoon. The best of course, is the opportunity to experience them live, that's truly the only way you'll be able to see and feel the electricity that exudes Raquy and The Cavemen.


Live Reviews:
MSN Music review from Floydfest

"Ashkenaz" Festival, Toronto

CD Reviews:
Smother.net

Evolution of Media

Indie-music.com

Subba-Cultcha.com

Florida Entertainment Scene

NY Post

Exclaim Magazine

Skratch Magazine

Inside World Music

Splendid Magazine


Indie-Music.com
Derek Blackmon

OK. I have to disclose that lately I’ve really been sinking my teeth into World Music. Maybe it’s just that my disenfranchised American attitude has finally cleansed my palate for the sounds of other lands. (See? We don’t all support George W. Bush!) With that aside, the only problem I’ve found with Raquy and the Cavemen is quite simply: Nothing. I know that’s a very lame slight, but seriously, that’s how captivating their sound is.

Collecting almost an hour's worth of Middle Eastern-based sounds on Jordan, her latest release on Meef Records, Raquy Danziger has a knack for creating deep, rhythmic beats and making it palatable for the layman. Danziger, a percussionist, who is a lifelong devotee to the Middle Eastern Dumbek, creates a dense, organic sound that makes John Bonham seem a trifle boring. With some added grooves from Liron Peled on guitars, percussions and the Moog synthesizer as well as a sextet that features instruments from various regions of the Middle East, Asia and Africa, the group en masse forms a collective sound that makes the drumming portion of a Grateful Dead show seem like an opportune time to get a fresh beer and buy some souvenirs.

This isn’t the kind of music you throw on at a party to impress your friends. This goes a bit deeper than that. These sounds frame peaceful moments of reflective soul-searching for the individual. Granted your friends may very well dig it (and I hope they do!) but in the midst of these rhythms, you can’t have a conversation about how bad your job is and pound Jager Bombs.

The more volume I put behind this, the more earth-shaking and powerful it felt. And the more I loved it.

The press release that arrived with the CD indicated Raquy and the Cavemen are somewhat familiar to the Greenwich Village scene, which was extremely reassuring, considering this is the neighborhood that spawned the likes of Bob Dylan, Dave Van Ronk and Phil Ochs, among countless others of the 60s Folk movement. So someone in the know is aware of the talent here.

Before you rush out to buy the latest genre-bending release from your new favorite artist, give this one a shot. Head to your local record store and buy it, request it, or demand it with a peacefully clenched fist.


Live Reviews:
MSN Music review from Floydfest

"Ashkenaz" Festival, Toronto

CD Reviews:
Smother.net

Evolution of Media

Indie-music.com

Subba-Cultcha.com

Florida Entertainment Scene

NY Post

Exclaim Magazine

Skratch Magazine

Inside World Music

Splendid Magazine


Subba-Cultcha.com (UK)
Eddie Thomas

The deal here is that Raquy Danziger, a classically-trained pianist now internationally known for her skill with the dumbek (a Middle Eastern instrument often called a tabla) has formed a world music group with her husband Liron Peled and others, and based themselves in New York. Owing to the backgrounds of the musicians involved, and the instruments they wield, their music is very much in the tradition of Middle Eastern music. But their approach, borrowing from the drama and power of the rock tradition, sets them apart.

It’s certainly a change for me to hear an album based on the nai, riq, dumbek, bendir, zila, oud and dahula, instead of guitar, bass and drums. Certainly my spell-check can’t cope. As a novice to this kind of thing, I couldn’t hope to explain what part all the above instruments play, but I can tell you that I like it. A lot. The sound is tied together and brought into (for me) more familiar territory with guitars, drums and Moog synths, and it proves as dramatic and enticing a recipe as anything I’ve heard this year.

“Jordan” certainly has a lot of appeal which could transcend the snobbery of the world music scene and cross over to a broader appeal. I hope it gets the chance to do so.


Live Reviews:
MSN Music review from Floydfest

"Ashkenaz" Festival, Toronto

CD Reviews:
Smother.net

Evolution of Media

Indie-music.com

Subba-Cultcha.com

Florida Entertainment Scene

NY Post

Exclaim Magazine

Skratch Magazine

Inside World Music

Splendid Magazine


Florida Entertainment Scene

NYC Based World Music Ensemble Stirs Up Powerful Blend of Blistering Rock And Exotic and Ancient Middle Eastern Vibes On New Indie Release, Jordan

Leader/percussionist Raquy Danziger is world’s foremost expert on dumbek, a classic Middle Eastern drum

Critical praise for the fiery, densely percussive hybrid music of Raquy and The Cavemen (pronounced rh-key)—who are currently riding high with Jordan, their new independent release on Meef Records—has been rumbling with an intensity worthy of the New York City based ensemble’s rock and roll meets Middle Eastern exotica. One reviewer exclaims, “You won’t really know the meaning of dynamic, joyous and percussive until you’ve experienced Raquy!

Others note the way leader Raquy Danziger plays “traditional tunes with the energy of a rocker” with “a blazing skill that shocks and amazes.” Rock fans might want to latch onto her burning ensemble via words from a live review by Exclaim Magazine in Toronto: “It was a remarkable demonstration of what Page and Plant have always wanted to do but have never succeeded at.”

The charismatic Raquy may have been born in Michigan and educated at Brandeis University in Boston, but she is a true citizen of the world. Globally renowned for her expertise on the dumbek, an ancient Arabic drum instrument she calls “beautiful with tons of possibility,” she has traveled to nearly every continent accompanying some of the greatest Middle Eastern music masters. Raquy has performed in Canada, Mexico Turkey, Greece and throughout South America, and has taught students throughout the U.S., Egypt, Canada and Israel, in addition to her thriving teaching practice at home. In all, she has taught hundreds of aspiring musicians, many of whom have later performed with her.

She recently returned from a month in Egypt, where in March she performed with a fifteen piece percussion troupe led by virtuoso Said El Artist, the most famous dumbek player from that country, whose compositions are known throughout the world. She played the solo dumbek part in Said’s compositions and also taught the ensemble one of her own pieces, which they performed on an outdoor stage on the Nile at the El Sawy Cultural Center.

During Raquy’s stay in Egypt, she also appeared on the Samir Sabry Show performing one of her drum solos. Both Al-Jazeera and Orbit TV Networks filmed the concert and interviewed Raquy and Said. “This was a great honor for me,” she says. “Anyone who knows about Middle Eastern music has heard of him, and I have been learning from his style for years.” A daily journal of her Egyptian journey is available at http://raquy.blogspot.com.

When she’s not out globetrotting, Raquy and The Cavemen are in perpetual motion, performing at clubs in the West Village, East Village and Greenwich Village, including a semi-regular Sunday spot at Caf Figaro. Although the charismatic Raquy is the band’s focal point in concert, Jordan—her first album with the Cavemen, and third overall—is very much a collaborative effort between herself, her Israeli born musician husband Liron Peled (who plays guitars, drum set, Moog synthesizer and percussion) and three top New York performers—Daphna Mor (recorders and nai), Yotam Beery (bass) and Rami El-Aasser (riq, bass dumbek). The album also features special guest artists Osama Farouk (dumbek, zils, bendir, dahula), Haig Manoukian (oud) and Raquy’s father, Robert Danziger on bassoon.

In addition to performing on high dumbek, riqs and daf, Raquy plays many of Jordan’s lead melodies on the Iranian kemenche, a bowed violin-like instrument that is a staple of much Middle Eastern music. Raquy and Liron had partnered musically on her 2004 recording Dust, and gathered the ensemble that would become The Cavemen for a performance at its record release party. Raquy then decided to keep these players as her official band.

“The albums are in similar styles, and Jordan has more of the same instruments,” says Raquy, whose solo catalog also includes 2001’s much-heralded Masmudi. “Dust, however, has more Indian and Persian chanting, while the new project puts the kemenche in a more prominent role. There’s also heavier Egyptian style drumming. The riq is a frame drum like the tambourine, and we play three of them. The daq is another frame

drum. It’s the perfect blend of ancient and modern sounds, with Liron drawing on his background as a hard rock drum set player from Golan Heights to keep the rock vibe going.

“About half of the 15 pieces on Jordan are melodic, featuring kamanche, guitar and bass, and the rest of them are solo drum compositions,” she adds. “Liron likes the melodic songs, and my favorites are the drumming pieces. It’s a nice balance. Jordan is named after my grandfather, and the title song is written in a beautiful Middle Eastern mode, with minor and major chords at the same time. It’s happy yet somehow heartbreaking.”

A classically trained pianist, Raquy’s defining trait is the intense wanderlust she has felt since childhood. After receiving her college degree in history, she set out to see the world, traveling to places like Israel (her ancestral home), Turkey, Greece, Cambodia and Vietnam. She stayed longer in Varanase, India, where she immersed herself in the study of Indian rhythmic cycles. “My piano teachers always said I had a good sense of rhythm, and I was very attracted to Indian music’s use of mathematics, cycles and groupings,” she says. Later, in Israel, Raquy was drawn to the dumbek (otherwise known as tabla) and the groove of Middle Eastern music, which, she adds, “is great party music that can bring you to ecstatic levels of energy.”

Raquy and the Cavemen have appeared at Lollapalooza, Central Park Summerstage, The North by Northeast and the Ashkenaz festivals, among many others. They perform regularly in the U.S. with occasional tours in Canada, Israel, Egypt and The West Indies. Wherever they go, the band plugs into that city’s belly dance scene and takes over with its undeniable energy.

“I think our music is universally popular because its rhythm is very catchy, accessible, and everyone can feel it,” she says. “Even if people have never been exposed to Middle Eastern music before, they can get into the rhythm immediately and appreciate its beautiful melodies. Because there are no language barriers, it is accessible to everyone. I love both teaching and performing. Whether they are students or just fans, the people attracting to this kind of music are very cool. Everyone is there having fun.”


Live Reviews:
MSN Music review from Floydfest

"Ashkenaz" Festival, Toronto

CD Reviews:
Smother.net

Evolution of Media

Indie-music.com

Subba-Cultcha.com

Florida Entertainment Scene

NY Post

Exclaim Magazine

Skratch Magazine

Inside World Music

Splendid Magazine


NY Post
DAN AQUILANTE

"Basically, all we know about Iraq and Iran comes from news clippings about war and natural disaster.

Raquy Danziger, an American, wants to put another face on those countries - through their music. She and her band, the Cavemen, have taken traditional Eastern songs from that corner of the world and melded them into something else with electronic instrumentation - This odd but interesting disc of world music is terrific!"


Live Reviews:
MSN Music review from Floydfest

"Ashkenaz" Festival, Toronto

CD Reviews:
Smother.net

Evolution of Media

Indie-music.com

Subba-Cultcha.com

Florida Entertainment Scene

NY Post

Exclaim Magazine

Skratch Magazine

Inside World Music

Splendid Magazine


Exclaim Magazine (Canada)
David Dacks

"Dust is a hard-hitting, well thought out blend of Greek, Iranian, Indian and Turkish drumming styles mixed with electronics that rocks hard. Undulating rhythms in nine, seven and ten beat cycles adapt amazingly well to electric guitars and synth bass textures. The foundation of Dust is Raquy Danzinger's sure-handed playing. Her 'Dumbek Duet' showcases her skills at their most upfront; it’s a fascinating exploration of the tonal and dynamic range of the Turkish drum. Her speed, control and phrasing are very accomplished on all hand and frame drums. Her playing of the bowed kemenche produces fiddle-like skronks with microtonal anxieties, conjuring some awesome riffs from centuries old folk traditions. Husband/producer Liron contributes guitar riffage and bubbling analog synth pads to provide a sympathetic electronic setting to the complex beats. Nearly every song tries and succeeds at augmenting the traditions they are based on — special props go to Haig Manoukian ("the Jimi Hendrix of the oud") for contributing a virtuosic solo in the title track. The liner notes helpfully explain the origins and playing techniques of the instruments. This is a very accomplished record — one hopes that Raquy and Liron will be able to tour to promote this."


Live Reviews:
MSN Music review from Floydfest

"Ashkenaz" Festival, Toronto

CD Reviews:
Smother.net

Evolution of Media

Indie-music.com

Subba-Cultcha.com

Florida Entertainment Scene

NY Post

Exclaim Magazine

Skratch Magazine

Inside World Music

Splendid Magazine


Skratch Magazine
Norberto Gomez, Jr.

"Rather than just a straightforward release to showcase her talents as an Arabic drum virtuoso, Raquy Danziger, with the aid of her band the Cavemen, delivers a powerfully eclectic amalgamation of modern music and ancient. Much of DUST is filled with pulse-pounding beats, and rhythms that remind you of something Nine Inch Nails would conjure up. Songs such as 'Raquin' (with its use of the classic Moog) and 'Axarai' are prime examples of the multilayered, dark, industrial feel that accompany these powerfully intoxicating Arabic arrangements. From bass guitar to various exotic instruments, DUST contains a large variety of tight instrumentation that takes you all over the map. Mostly instrumental, the album hypnotizes the listener to a point of psychedelic coolness, and you find your body swaying along to the sweet musical flow that is pouring itself out of the speakers, it and has you asking for more."


Live Reviews:
MSN Music review from Floydfest

"Ashkenaz" Festival, Toronto

CD Reviews:
Smother.net

Evolution of Media

Indie-music.com

Subba-Cultcha.com

Florida Entertainment Scene

NY Post

Exclaim Magazine

Skratch Magazine

Inside World Music

Splendid Magazine


Inside World Music
Tom Orr

"I was previously only aware of Raquy Danziger through her writings in Drum magazine regarding the art of Arabic percussion. One listen to this disc shows what qualifies her to impart knowledge on such a subject. She's a dynamite player, not only on the Middle Eastern dumbek, riq, bendir and daf drums, but also several bowed instruments from the same region.

Dust is laced with intricate percussion rhythms, their twisting and turning textures rooted in Turkey, Iran, Greece and elsewhere...Dust really crackles. It's inventively quirky, genuine and played with passion. Percussionists and Middle Eastern music fans will savor and cherish it."


Live Reviews:
MSN Music review from Floydfest

"Ashkenaz" Festival, Toronto

CD Reviews:
Smother.net

Evolution of Media

Indie-music.com

Subba-Cultcha.com

Florida Entertainment Scene

NY Post

Exclaim Magazine

Skratch Magazine

Inside World Music

Splendid Magazine


Splendid Magazine
Brett McCallon

"Many modern musicians can barely be bothered to achieve basic competence on their instruments of choice, so the musician calling herself Raquy stands out from the pack in the best possible way. Not only does she have a total mastery of an array of exotic drums that you and I haven't heard of (Oh, sorry Mr. or Ms. Cool; I should have known that your knowledge of the Zarb was both broad and deep. That's right. I thought so); she has also mastered a host of picked and bowed stringed instruments you and I haven't heard of (let's not do this again). And by mastery, I mean the kind of blazing skill that can so shock and amaze someone who hasn't heard these instruments played before that all future performances by other musicians are in danger of seeming amateurish.


The rhythms and tones that emerge and coalesce in the opening bars of the Greek dance "Yietierre" are all the more impressive after you read the instrumental credits in the liner notes; while Raquy's collaborator Liron plays several more conventional instruments, Raquy plays four of the aforementioned drums and stringed instruments, somehow making their interplay sound as organic as any live combo's spontaneous collaboration. The music she plays is even more exciting on tracks like "Kurdish", an original composition based on Kurdish folk songs that harnesses a truly rock guitar/bass/drums sound to the service of Raquy's more exotic muse. It's the kind of perfectly balanced endeavor that gives hope for the future of such world/rock combinations -- hope that's hard to find elsewhere.


Each of these tracks is fantastic in its own way; even relative throwaways like the rhythmically chanted, a capella "Tanan" add valuable texture and variety, making the album a richer experience by their presence. Dust goes from strength to strength, from the distorted bass tones and sinuous melody of "Raquin" to the stunning, epic wall of drums that conclude "Hafla". By the time "Axarai" (think Radiohead Goes to Ankara) fades into the stately drone of closer "Huseyni Saz Samai", you'll be ready to listen to the whole thing all over again.


Dust is an intriguing, exciting, deeply personal expression of love for the instruments and possibilities of a style of music that we should all know more about."