Every person we meet, every moment we live through, all the love we feel, and the losses we endure, add another layer to the intricate pattern of our lives. Like multicolored threads, these layers twist together to form a complex, vibrant tapestry — a reflection of our life journey until this point.
On his new album Layers, Khalab acknowledges and celebrates the encounters that have shaped his ever-evolving musical vision. The record, out on July 28th with his own Hyperjazz Records, represents the culmination of a creative journey that began with his Eunoto EP (Black Acre Records, 2015), evolved with the Afro-Futuristic soundscapes of 2018’s highly acclaimed album Black Noise 2084 (On The Corner Records), and has since developed further through a series of experiences and deep musical collaborations. Layers summons all the alchemy of Khalab’s live performances, and embodies the transcendental power of music making as a collective art form.
The album’s nine tracks feature an impressive lineup of collaborators old and new, including UK drummer and producer Emanative, Burkinabe singer, guitarist, and kora player Gabin Dabirè, Italian producer Clap! Clap!, multi-wind instrumentalist Tamar Osborn, drummer and producer Tommaso Cappellato, British-Bahraini trumpeter Yazz Ahmed, Bristol’s vocalist and producer Grove, multi-instrumentalist Tenderlonious, Italian jazz singer Alessia Obino and British-born Nigerian spoken-word artist Joshua Idehen.
The album’s nine tracks still revolve around the key components of Khalab’s sound — dark and trancey electronics and his research into Black music and all its evolutions — but with a bigger emphasis on harmonic arrangements. Across the record Khalab’s productions twist and pulsate into mesmerizing motifs, as the interplay between different instruments coalesce into focused melodies and rich, complex textures. Khalab and his collaborators masterfully blend gloomy and radiant tones, eliciting feelings of both doom and hope.
For the Italian producer Layers represents the end point of a journey that began with the synthesis of ancestral rhythms and electronic experimentation on Black Noise 2084, and has taken him on a meandering route through a Mauritanian refugee camp (M’berra, Real World Recordings, 2021), and deep into the catalogs of legendary Italian labels Soul Note and Black Saint (for the Hyperituals compilations, released on his own Hyperjazz label).
In Khalab’s own words: “For me this feels like coming full circle, because everything will be more experimental going forward.”
Currently no concerts. Stay tuned!