ALBUM REVIEW: Rejoicer’s ‘Energy Dreams’ Is a Trip Through a Beatmaker’s Imagination

A jazzy collection of lo-fi beats that would be right at home on a playlist with Thundercat and Flying Lotus.

Since founding the Raw Tapes label in 2009, Tel-Aviv’s Yuvi Havkin has become a central component of the vibrant Israeli beat scene. Released on the always trustworthy Stones Throw Records, Energy Dreams is his debut album under the moniker Rejoicer.

It’s a dreamy collection of lo-fi beats with a strong jazz sensibility that would be right at home on a playlist featuring Thundercat and Flying Lotus. Havkin uses a warm, rubbery bass tone that runs underneath a spacey wash of synths and a clatter of organic percussion. While the overall sound will be familiar to fans of this genre, a close listen reveals a lot of unique experimentation going on, like the gorgeous piano of “Lucid Intent” and the cool trumpet fanfare of “Yesterday’s Forest Magic.”

On several songs Havkin uses a digital harp tone that bubbles with energy. Each track has a distinctive groove – the broken beat pulse of “Neo Drive Knows You,” the infectious bounce of “Ancient Energy Search” and the focused drive of “High On Star Dance” – which make sure Energy Dreams never wears out its welcome.

What’s most interesting is how the music seems to embody opposite feelings at the same time. Foreign and familiar. Atmospheric and grounded. Mysterious and safe. It’s a serene dreamscape that teeters on the edge of consciousness and feels totally free.

Score: 💫💫💫💫💫/5