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This Is Reasonable


Yuval Havkin, also known as Rejoicer, is one of the foremost exponents of downtempo music, inspired by the fusion of jazz and hip-hop. This Is Reasonable draws on his early influences while exploring the world of calm, melodic electronic music that borders on ambient. This Is Reasonable has a chill-out feel to it, a record filled with melodies and atmospheres that, throughout its eleven tracks, conveys a sense of calm and floating, akin to ambient music. Stripped of the clichés of the genre, the album is built around subtle melodies and rich harmonies from keyboards and synths, which borrow as much from the spirit of jazz as from the inventions of electronica, whilst being supported by a gentle groove. This equilibrium is perfectly captured by Rejoicer's moniker, a term that evokes both the idleness of artificial paradises and a soft, caring form of spirituality. This new Rejoicer album, 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. Following his meeting with Mathias Duchemin, founder of the Circus Company record label and a keen enthusiast of the new Israeli jazz scene, Yuval chose 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, Yuval Havkin claims to have also been inspired by the great 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 is, indeed, quite paradoxical, in stark contrast to the country's tragedies (the title explicitly refers to recent political disputes in Israel) and the war currently raging less than a hundred miles from his studio. A paradox fully embraced by the artist, who views his music as a response to the violence of our times. Features Yonatan Albalak.