Dotan Segal, better known as Sangit, is an Israeli producer, percussionist and songwriter who grew up on a kibbutz near Hadera where his parents tried to instill him with a passion for music from an early age. At the insistence of his father, Sangit took up music and dance lessons, but his passion for music only really took flight when he discovered the saxophone at the age of eleven. Sangit's earliest musical memories go back to listening to classical music together with his grandfather, but soon developed a liking for rock, and later discovered African music, funk and electronic music; genres that would have a great influence on the development of his own sound.
At the age of nineteen he fled compulsory military service in Israel, opting to travel to India instead on a voyage of self-discovery. There he learned to play tabla and sitar, but also ended up in Poona or Pune, the location of the Osho International Meditation Resort, the ashram and headquarters of the Rajneesh movement, where Dotan, after undergoing a Sannyasa ritual (a form of asceticism, characterized by renunciation of material desires and prejudices, detachment from material life, and with the aim of a peaceful, loving, simple spiritual life) was assigned his new name Sangit (Sanskrit for "music").
Back in Israel, Sangit enrolled at the Rimon School of Music in Ramat Hasharon to take lessons in music composition and arrangement, but soon packed his bags again to travel to Cuba, where he learned percussion techniques.
In 2004 he then founded Kuluma, an Ethio-jazz ensemble, together with Alon Yaffe and Abate Berihun; a collaboration resulting a year later in the release of the long-player 'Mother Tongue'. Meanwhile, Sangit had met singer-songwriter Noa Golan; an acquaintance that would soon culminate in a relationship and intense musical collaboration, in 2012 resulting in the 'Open Channels' album. In the following years, collaborations with diverse artists and bands like Kutiman, Karolina, Ethiopian music legend Mahmoud Ahmed, Funk'n'stein (the Israeli answer to Funcadelic and Parliament) and afrobeat drummer Tony Allen, to name but a few, followed.
In 2016 there was already 'Afro Love', a first 5 track solo-EP, now followed by debut album 'Librar' (Amharic for "freedom"). That title seems to symbolize Sangit's musical approach, as the album has become a true virtual trip, starting in the Ethiopian highlands (opener and title track 'Librar', recorded with ex-Kuluma band mate, jazz-saxophonist, vocalist and composer Abate Berihun), traveling on to Morocco with a stopover in Israel for 'Ya Mulana', a duet by Lital Gabai and Marc Kakon (who also form a couple in real life) in which the Hebrew lyrics of the first blend with Kakon's Moroccan Arabic and in which a slightly hypnotic rhythm and the use of the guembri create a Gnawa atmosphere. From Morocco it's only a short flight to Italy, but in fact our real destination is Burkina Faso, the birthplace of Kadi Coulibaly, who now lives in Milan. As an African migrant in a European, in 'Ma Mamuso' (Bambara for "my grandmother", a song in which Shlomi Alon's flute was also given a prominent role) she tries to encourage herself singing: "Ma mamuso tolo kada nye..." ("My grandmother told me everything was going to be all right...").
The next stop on our route is somewhere between Detroit in the United States, Lagos in Nigeria and Tel Aviv in Israel, with the Afro-funk of 'Turn Your Head To The Light', for which Sangit invited Elran Dekel, lead-vocalist with the aforementioned Funk'n'stein. Then it's back to Morocco for 'Inta Jari', afrobeat meets gnawa meets rock with vocals by Haim Ulliel, and at the same time one of our personal favorites from the track list. With 'Yelele' we also stay in afrobeat territory, but 'Golden Hours' is a much more complex story: the song starts with typical West-African balafon and calabash percussion, but the vocals are by South-African based Congolese singer/guitarist Chris Bakalanga (known for his work with Freshlyground, who, together with Shakira, scored a world hit with football anthem 'Waka Waka' in 2010).
The title 'Child Of A War', based on the true story of a fifteen-year-old Sudanese refugee who, after experiencing unimaginable horrors, only craved school books so he could get his diploma, leaves little to the imagination and is a fusion of classical blues and Mali blues, performed by Malian vocalist Djely Tapa and Canadian singer-songwriter Ali Overing; mesmerizingly beautiful song! With 'Emosio Dance', one of the first songs that Sangit wrote for this album, thanks to the vocals by Natalie Wemba Berry from Congo-Brazzaville, we end up in the Afro-groove territory artists like Sally Nyolo or Manou Gallo also call home. For the slightly psychedelic instrumental 'Sankadelic' Sangit invited his good friend Kutiman, who created a kind of retro-bossa nova meets Ethio jazz, in which flute, ngoni and Kutiman's Ronald Juno-106 synthesizer enter into a dialogue.
Sangit ends his world trip in style with a live recording of 'Generous Mistakes' with the Israeli-Ethiopian AvevA on vocals; funky soul that in the late eighties and early nineties of the last century was still described as acid jazz and could come from the catalog of bands like Galliano or Brand New Heavies. Extremely successful eclectic mix of languages, nationalities and genres!