Die Musik des vielfach talentierten Shay Hazan setzt sich aus nordafrikanischen native Grooves, Jazz Horns undn HipHop Beats zusammen. ‘Reclusive Rituals’ ist sein erster internationales Labelrelease und erscheint auf Vinyl bei Batov Records.
Tel-Aviv based musician Shay Hazan is a composer, producer, bassist & bandleader. Hisversatile bass is frequently heard on national radio, providing the hits of tomorrow with afoundation in the groove. Hazan’s presence has been felt on major international stageshaving toured with popular hip hop ensemble, Lucille Crew, and Batov fans will have heardhis bass lines propelling the grooves of Sandman Project’s breakthrough EP, ‘Royal Family’.Moreover, Hazan’s straight jazz project, the Shay Hazan Quintet has been heavily playlistedacross Spotify editorial playlists and recently released a fast-selling 7” on Jazzman Records.
Having commenced producing the album during the first Covid lockdown, this process ofcreating the album was a marked departure from previous projects. Whereas he wouldnormally call and gather his band together to record his new compositions live, Hazan wouldcome up with a groove first before sending the recording parts to a drummer in Berlin or asaxophonist in Tel Aviv to add a complementary rhythm or melody, and then finally editingthe results himself. As Hazan puts it, “So technically I had the role of the composer and theproducer as well as the Guimbri player.”
“I made this album In order to satisfy the inner urge for simple grooves and the search for adifferent and new sound that draws inspiration from ancient places with great tradition but stillcorresponds with the world and the period in which I live and the way I express myself.”
Having already mastered the double and electric bass, Hazan learned how to play the three-stringed Guimbri: a camel-skin-covered bass plucked lute used by the Gnawa people ofNorth Africa, as heard on their hypnotic music. Hazan repurposes the unique qualities of theinstrument with a jazz approach, no doubt inspired somewhat by his introduction to theinstrument: “The truth is that my first acquaintance with the Gimbri was by bassist WilliamParker, who is not a traditional Gnawan player, but an American musician, identified with jazzand improvised music. that I have been following for years. Once I saw him play with thisthing in a show and my mind exploded, I started researching where it came from andlistening to music from Morocco and North Africa”.
The title, ‘Reclusive Rituals’, is inspired by a Jean-Michel Basquiat interview from 1985where he discusses his reclusiveness and the public demand for gossip on well-knownfigures. In particular, how advantageous it can be to stay out of the limelight, as the crowd’svery nature is to eventually turn on their idols. Hazan interpreted this to imply that personalbehavioral patterns are significantly affected by the fear of negative responses, often leadingthem to non-action: “Basquiat’s words have been resonating in my head for a long time. I seearound me a lot of people who for fear of receiving negative criticism, do not initiate or createanything. And in a certain place, I’m a little scared to be in this place myself and feel the needto keep searching and creating all the time without being influenced by criticism, for better orworse.”
The guimbri’s natural inclination to groove is instantly felt on the Gnawa-meets-Afrobeat firstsingle, “Afrobeatz”, which is destined to play a large role in DJs record bags as dancefloorsreopen. But the laidback, beat-driven foundation opener “Deloop” and “Pink Collar” revealHazan’s affinity for hip hop and RnB, in particular the UK label Village Life, whose cuttingedge blend of underground jazz and hip hop was a lockdown favourite.
‘Reclusive Rituals’ is an exciting new chapter in Shay Hazan’s career. His most personal,hands-on album to date, fusing his love of jazz, hip hop, and Gnawan music. As open-minded purveyors of the finest grooves, Batov Records is its perfect home.