Stones Throw is a record label which really requires little introduction, it has acted as an outlet for some of the best in experimental hip hop, electronica, ambient, jazz and beyong for many years now. Earlier this month the label released a new album called "Spiritual Sleaze" by a musician who's own inspiration is far flung and draws upon everything from Sun Ra to Wu Tang.
As such, this album is a difficult one to place, what is it? Where did it come from? Who is it for? Perhaps it's better to draw upon the nature of the listening experience itself, rather than that of the pre defined genre. It's sprawling, instrumental and free roaming, asking as many questions as it answers.
In an attempt to define this release, we felt it was perhaps best to ask Rejoicer to guide us through the album for himself...
I knew I wanted to start the album with an ambient, chill tune... I remember it was really fast to write and record - Nitai on the Juno 106 and me on the Wurlitzer. Later I recorded Ilan Volkov on strings and wine glass in my studio adding more drama. Nitai Hershkovits and I were listening to the Planete Sauvage soundtrack while working on the album and I can definitely hear it on this track.
Pre Memory Circle
This is for me the track that summarises the album. It’s one of the tracks that feels like I was dreaming of making it long ago... I always wanted these abstract sounds and vibe. This track also started with a live take of Nitai on Juno and me on the Wurli.
Song For Spirit Flights
I made this track by myself in the studio and asked Keren to record some vocals on it. We were just told that the sister of a good friend passed away and Keren wrote the lyrics thinking of her. We were very moved by the funeral and the people talking and sharing memories there.
A few friends came to my studio to chill and take some psychedelics. After a few hours we had some sequences running from the modular synths and Prophet 08 and 06. This is basically the track with me and Albalak playing live on top of the sequences.
This is a bit like the track “Double Astral Move” from my debut album. The rhythm is almost the same as it runs on 15 (5X3 or 3X5). I started this track on the piano, composing the left-hand counterpoint first, then adding the harmony and melody.
After hearing Sam Wilkes album for Leaving Records, I asked Matthew David to link me with him. He gladly did, and Sam came to record with me and Nitai at the Stones Throw studios. After going to get coffee together and chatting for an hour about life and music we started the track and not too long after we almost finished it. I programmed the drums so we could play on top of them - Sam on Bass, Nitai on the Juno 106 and me playing lead on the Multi Vox. Later Jenny Penkin recorded vocals in my studio giving the track some more bright vibes.
Again, I feel Planete Sauvage influences this track. Nitai and I recorded around 6 albums in the last 3 years, and I feel that this is one of the best tracks we’ve ever made. It’s a concept we have been developing, so the track starts with this melody and the next part is more about bass and harmony... then back to melody... you get it :) I’m generally very influenced by classical music, albums like Arvo Part’s Tintinnabuli, Art Lande & Jan Garbarek’s Red Lanta, Yosef Tal’s compositions, Rezsõ Seress’ Gloomy Sunday, etc.
My Beans feat. KerenDun
This is one of the first tracks that I made for the album. It’s always a pleasure having Keren on a tune and this time was easier than ever - Keren got the beat and wrote the lyrics about her garden and her beans growing. The Pride, Oh, The Pride This track is influenced by different soundtracks and ambient records mainly Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works and Brian Eno's Music For Airports. The time signature is 7/4 but still somehow sounds very round. It’s almost like writing a classical piece for an orchestra but instead playing it with Rhodes, Wurli and synths.
No Bells Rang that Day feat. Nitai Hershkovits
Nitai had this melody and harmony written in his house in New York. When he came to the recording sessions, he said he wrote something he wanted to try. I knew straight away that I wanted it on the record and recorded Nitai first on the Wurli to get the right feeling.
Lemons feat. Jenny Penkin
I made this in my studio with the amazing musician and bass player Yonatan Levy. It took us a good few hours to find the right atmosphere for the drums, but once we got it eventually. We asked Jenny Penkin (new artist on Raw Tapes) to come record with us as it sounded more like a song than an instrumental.
Third Eye Jungle Run
I like composing a round of 3 chord changes and in this track, I found another way of doing it. I feel super blessed to have friends like Albalak who record bass and guitars here and Iogi who recorded the violins.
Eagle in the Lodge
The name of this track is taken from an experience I had in a sweat lodge after a Yage ceremony. There was a girl who couldn’t stop crying all night, and when we all got in the lodge her crying became almost unbearable for a lot of us. I remember sitting there and all of a sudden, out of the blackness I saw an eagle. He had some blue colours on his feathers, and I felt he came to help her, but it seemed she couldn’t get help. There Is Time This track was also recorded live with Nitai on the Prophet synth and me on the Juno 106. We were talking about finishing the album with a simple ambient track, not too melodic and took the time to choose the right harmonies and temperature for it.
Buy the album HERE.
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