Journeyman, DJ, radio presenter, beat raconteur – it’s been hard to keep up with all of iZem‘s movements lately. The innovative French producer has been hard at work on his debut LP Hafa, exploring the sounds of Latin America and North Africa in a vivid analogue-digital, genre-defying soundscape that is sure to leave your head spinning.
Following in the footsteps of cultural greats like William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, The Rolling Stones and Matisse, iZem (an acronym for “In Ze Early Morning”) spent time soaking up the atmosphere at the inspiring Café Hafa, an idyllic cliff-top joint in Tangier, Morocco, which has formed a golden backdrop to his debut LP. Brimming with soulful exoticism, personal narratives and adventurous collaborators, Hafa has been an experiment in taking on the afro-centric sounds of his journey to-date by incorporating modern, introspective songwriting and hybrid beats.
Ahead of its release next month, today we’re premiering a delectable cut off the album featuring the angelic tones of Brazilian singer Nina Miranda. A former collaborator on Gilles Peterson’s Sonzeira project, Nina’s warming melodies bring us a taste of Latin America blended perfectly with iZem’s multi-coloured production, mixing jazzy horns with wet bass tones and effervescent textures. A perfect accompaniment to the great weather we’ve been having in the last few days.
Hafa will be released digitally on the 15th May.