Arbel Amram, also known as Isaac Tumor, has just released his debut Beatsupply EP; a creatively experimental 5 track piece titled “Jarhead“. We caught up with him to learn more about the release, and himself as an artist.

First and foremost we are very happy to welcome you at Beatsupply, please introduce yourself in a few words.

Thank you very much! I’m so happy to be part of this family, such a warm and supporting place for beatmakers, I couldn’t wish for a better place to release this EP! My name is Arbel Amram and I’m based in a small village near Tel Aviv – producing music for about 6 to 7 years. I’m a beats lover, free and introverted spirit and pretty much a weird fella. Right now I’m an active soldier in the army for the past years doing combat service and I’m about to finish my mandatory time and come back to being a lazy couch potato.

Your artist name seems quite bizarre at first, by any chance, does it have anything to do with the videogame ‘Binding of Isaac’ ?

Bullseye! As a game fanatic, my music, art and a lot of my inspirations come from video games. The name started as a joke years back when the game came out and it sort of stuck with me.

Jarhead is a concept ep that features a variety of moods and styles that are brilliantly combined with elements of sound design and field recordings. You mentioned that your EP is based on, and inspired by your experiences in the army and being dispatched in the field. Could you lead us deeper in your thought process and what’s behind the story of this broken jar that we can see on the artwork cover?

During my time in my army I’ve experienced a lot of situations that inspired me with thoughts and feelings that are quite unique, like walking great distances with heavy cargo while being surrounded with all your brothers in arms and everybody is dead silent, and sometimes being bombed and shot at, while patrolling. In these times your mind starts playing tricks on you so I tried to convert all these memories and feelings to sound as I remember them. Jarhead is a nickname usually given to marines, even though i’m not a marine it still relates to the idea of a combat soldier. The broken jarhead represents the homecoming and its point of view in this atmosphere.

The contrast of dead silence and heavy gunfire sounds shockingly astounding & frightening. You mentioned at the introduction that you are almost done with your service, how long does it normally last and aren’t there any alternatives? Personally I had to decide between either 6 months of army service or 9 months of civil service. Both of them are horribly paid and there is no way around it, which is always a big topic & issue in Austria. I was told that back then when you tried to get around it or failed the physical and psychological examination you had a really hard time finding a job and instantly got devalued as a person / worker / employee.

That contrast is a common thing while being active, you live in danger. There are weeks where everything is dead quiet and a second after, hell let loose and the whole area becomes a war zone, it makes you live by trigger, you become a loaded bullet waiting to be fired. Sadly it’s not easy to not take the job back home especially when it’s your daily life for so long. So sometimes these ricochets can hit your relatives back home, personally I have found myself lashing out on my family members more than once. It’s a hard experience for you and your surroundings. Mandatory service in the military is 2.8 years in Israel, right now i had passed 2 years and close to 4 months. While a minority is doing combat duty on their service, there are a lot of jobs you can get, but usually those whose tests result for combat will resign for combat duty (which is super easy to get out of). After you resign from the army you get a bit of help from the country with taxes and stuff but not much more than that, 20 years ago if you weren’t a combat soldier you would get devalued. But these days no one gives a sh*t about it… 

What, or who got you hooked on music?

From a young age I’ve been surrounded with music. I come from a family of dancers, naturally I also picked it up. After a while I started beatboxing to myself, dancing when I had no access to music. Very quickly I fell in love with the satisfaction from creating music and started taking beatbox more seriously. Somewhere along the road I came across music production…it was love at first sight. While all my friends were getting music from MTV I spent time digging for the craziest tunes I could find. Clams Casino, Barnaby Carter, Long Arm and many more took my imagination to a whole new level. After a lot of enjoyable work and self teaching this crazy world, I’ve reached a point where I can hopefully pass it on.

What does the music scene in Israel look like?

To be honest…the beat scene is pretty dead, there are a few admirable pioneers that are pulling a lot of strings and are always trying to fire up things but sadly not enough that Israeli producers could rely on. Hopefully we’ll all see something bigger in the next few years, because there are amazing artists hidden here, waiting to be found!

What is the best advice you were given or that you can give to others, and lastly what do you want to be remembered for?

Best advice I can give is that you stay true to yourself! I myself make experimental and weird music, and still to this day after doing it for so much time I still get people trying to pull me down, some are even closer to me than the average hater. But keep doing the music you love! Keep making what you love making! Because that’s the only thing you will enjoy getting better at!!! Personally I would like to be remembered by the “that music guy”, to leave a mark as I’m going out through your speakers.

Thank you for taking your time to do this interview.

Interviewed by Dominic Caudr.