See Sun EP marks the release of a life affirming and soul soothing new EP by producer, composer, sound designer and DJ Ben Hayes, whose skilled musicianship and sonic understanding conjures bright colours, shapes, textures and even spaces within the stereo spectrum.
With formal training in jazz as his foundation, Hayes has accumulated influences from the LA beat scene, techno, IDM/electronica, spiritual jazz and 3D sound, citing Flying Lotus, Aphex Twin, Alice Coltrane, Juan Atkins, Pharoah Sanders and Blawan as current inspirations.
Equipped with a broad range of studio skills (including making his own tools for software) and an ability to play keys plus electric/double bass, he’s been deep amidst the South London scene since it began, watching others rise whilst patiently honing his craft.
Ben has been called upon by an impressive list of talent, which includes producing for Puma Blue, Poppy Ajudha, Oscar Jerome, Maisha and Carmody, collaborating with Nubya Garcia, Joe Armon-Jones and Maxwell Owin, and remixing Vök, Flamingods and SumoChief.
He has also supported Mulatu Astatke, Dele Sosimi, and Romare – as a member of Gambia-inspired future beatsmiths Minyanta.
With a contacts book like Ben’s, it’s little surprise he was able to call upon new jazz queen Nubya Garcia, who adds her dulcet sax to slinky EP opener ‘Ready Yet’, which matches Floating Points for sparkling, melodic freshness and J Dilla for lopsided, low slung thump.
Percussive beat science meets funk and jazztronica on a bright sky cloud – the drums of ‘See Sun, Reject It’ sound complex but not crowded, whilst Shivum Sharma’s dulcet falsetto graces the lilting and tender ‘If That Hurts’, which seems to soundtrack that time in a summer evening, when the balmy hot haze fades to a seductive twilight.
On the enchanting ‘Stasis’ swathes of weightless audio mist wrap around Izzy Risk’s voice, with the mood lifting from gently wistful to warmer, punctuated by bursts of celestial colour.
An instant classic! The moment I put this music into my headphones, I knew this was something special. After that, I just had to dig into Pharoah Sanders discogrpahy. Sanders was already a giant of Jazz. But this last release, 18 months before his death can just elevate his reputation even higher. Rest in peace Pharoah! Alex Deschênes