Yuval Havkin, also known as Rejoicer, is inspired by the fusion of jazz and hip-hop. Born in Israel and raised in England, he has a background in classical piano but mostly learned his skills”on the job” working with musicians he met in Tel Aviv, a local scene that nurtured a sense of community and emulation. Blending jazz, funk and hip hop, whilst still embracing pop influences, Havkin began using his Raw Tapes label to celebrate the richness of the new Israeli scene with releases by artists like Duo Brothers, Maya Dunietz, iogi, Nitai Hershkovits, and the Buttering Trio. In 2018, Rejoicer’s warm and engaging sounds caught the attention of the prestigious Los Angeles label Stones Throw, which released the albums Energy Dreams (2018) and Spiritual Sleaze (2020). Now based between Los Angeles and Savyon, near Tel Aviv, this hyperactive and instinctive artist simultaneously pursues a career as a composer, musician and label owner, member of numerous bands and collective projects (Apifera, PlayDead, collaborations with Jimi Prasad and Avishai Cohen) while also offering his studios and production skills to other artists.

The new Rejoicer album, This Is Reasonable, which follows three earlier jazz-tinged records, marks a new and more personal musical direction for an artist who previously favored group work and collaborations. Havkin chose here to delve into a more electronic and sequenced style of music, playing Prophet 6 and 8 synths, a Juno 60, a Minimoog and his Fender Rhodes keyboard, in contrast with the more organic sounds of his previous albums. While a few tracks on this new album may sound like a laid-back version of some of the Warp label’s early electronic classics by Aphex Twin or Boards of Canada, Havkin claims to have also been inspired by Fela Kuti, particularly in his search for harmonies between bass, keyboards and percussion, and by his elder trumpet-playing friend Avishai Cohen, a musician he particularly admires. Beyond these various influences, This Is Reasonable is an album of compelling and bewitching melodies. The moods, peacefulness and sheer beauty of This Is Reasonable are, indeed, quite paradoxical, in stark contrast to the country’s tragedies and the war currently raging less than a hundred miles from his studio. This paradox is fully embraced by Rejoicer, who views his music as a response to the violence of our times.

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Recommended Tracks: Track 5, “I Think This Is Reasonable,” Track 9, “OCNC XTR,” Track 1, “Jail Times With Mr. Murd,” Track 3, “Your Tissues SVP”

Label: Circus Company

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