Thursday, March 4, 2021
New Music: Rejoicer's 'Spiritual Sleaze' brings attention to the...

New Music: Rejoicer’s ‘Spiritual Sleaze’ brings attention to the Israeli beat scene

The Tel Aviv-based producer's latest is full of dreamy, hallucinatory vibes and textures from outer space.

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Yuvi Hawkin, the Tel Aviv-based producer who records using the moniker Rejoicer, chops up and filters a confluence of styles ranging from neo-fusion jazz, experimental beats, world music accents, and classical music orchestration. By way of his Raw Tapes Label, Hawkins is a big reason for the increased interest in Israel’s modern beat movement. Energy Dreams his Stones Throw debut from 2018, had him proclaim, “There’s a huge music world in my head that I hadn’t expressed or explained, and I decided to try to tap into that world of sounds.” That project most definitely got and stayed different, but lacked a “heat rock” type push. It was dope, but the uncooked non-fleshed-out arrangements barely held up.

Spiritual Sleaze, his follow-up to Energy Dreams, sees the producer cake up on new textures he explored on his EP Heavy Smoke from 2019. Putting some meat on that bone, adopting more of a downtempo sound, grounding all that instinctual atmospheric ephemera to notes and chords, applying bass lines that glide over tracks, showcasing a variety of rhythmic accompaniment. Hawkins is hazy no more. These are fully-realized beat centric movements.

Influenced by close physical proximity to despair—he lives 50 miles from the brutal occupation of Gaza—yoga and meditation play a strong role in the pursuit of his creative process. But any spiritual practice comes insulated with grim reality, just an hour driving distance away.

Citing a rando bag of influences—Sun Ra and Aphex Twin, Steve Reich and Dabrye, Alchemist and Arvo Pärt, Eric Satie and Wu-Tang Clan, Ebo Taylor and Scientist—he’s transformed previous beat scene scarcity into low-key fusiony bops that jut out energetic technicolor progression. The push-pull between breathy, ambient sounds and improvisational riffs give this project solemn identity. Earlier projects came off just a bit vapid, Spiritual Sleaze got grills. Sliding from downtempo grit, through half-time signatures to 4/4 uptempo hustle, wide-sweeping ranges in textures carry this project forward into uncharted terrain for Hawkins.

“Earth Talk” feat Sam Wilkes staples downtempo footing beneath outer space temperatures. Dreamy, hallucinatory vibes persist with the standout “My Beans” feat Keren Dun. That wormhole bass line, real low-slung beats, and sparse accompaniment signal that our producer has achieved the wisdom of stillness.

Even the surprise “turn up” of “Third Eye Jungle Run” procures an out of nowhere bump and hustle 3-minute jam, percolating along, using taut strings and punchy swag. These constant choices to move in several opposite directions keeps everything fresh and fast.

John-Paul Shiverhttps://www.clippings.me/channelsubtext
John-Paul Shiver has been contributing to 48 Hills since 2019. His work as an experienced music journalist and pop culture commentator has appeared in the Wire, Resident Advisor, SF Weekly, Bandcamp Daily, PulpLab, AFROPUNK, and Drowned In Sound.

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