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With a somewhat psychadelic sound, eerie reverbs and delays accompany great vocals over an awesome hippie-funk remix of “Moonlight” featuring GZA of the Wu-Tang Clan, Hanni El Khatib shows us that Hip Hop can appeal to just about any crowd, including a modern-day Psychadelic audience. However, while very artistic, it leaves audiences asking for a version of this song with clean, untampered vocals that one can listen to repetitively and at the same time grow on them.
“Taking us out to the cosmos,” as Hanni’s publicist states is just what this track is about. It does give you this feeling of “moonlight” and “bizzarro” if you can take the independent sound out of the equation. And still, you will be repeating the hook even after it has left your airspace. Watching the official video to “Moonlight” is just as eerie and interesting as listening to the track itself and a must watch! No wonder GZA agreed to “hop” onto the remix!
The world met Hanni El Khatib in 2011 with his debut album entitled Will The Guns Come Out, followed by his 2013 release of Head in the Dirt. On both albums, he considered the studio his playground, experimenting and manipulating sounds. This lead to what his team calls “relentless touring,” wheres he “knew he needed to go past ‘unpredictable’ and all the way to ‘unprecedented.’” It was in this moment he made the decision to go into isolation, locking himself into Lair, a Los Angeles-based studio, for 30 days, and created Moonlight, a third album anticipating launch on January 20, 2015. This album would be the “the rarest and most welcome kind of album, made at that perfect point in life where confidence, experience, and technique unite.”
On this album, he mixes East Coast Hip Hop beats with “Suicide-style synth drones” and “ESG-meets LCD Soundsystems” with a feel for Disco within the music. He writes about life and death, and the distortion and brokenness within. In fact, he actually enjoys using broken and bent instruments to allow hallucinatory vibes to shine through the end-result. The experiment is the art behind the music and the medium to let emotions project to the listener.
His publicist further states that “to make Moonlight, he needed the right engineer and the right place to record, the kind of place where they’d understand when he’d ask for ’62 Slingerland drumkit and obsolete fuzz pedals. And he found it in the Lair and engineer Sonny DiPerri, whose pinpoint instincts and unassuming personality camouflaged an all-star resume including stints with Trent Reznor, Avey Tare and more.”
“My approach is still the same,” Hanni explains. “Do things you’ve never done before. Challenge yourself. Be free and be creative. The same thing holds true for everything I’ve ever done, whether painting or design or skateboarding or whatever. Do it for the right reasons-exploring yourself. That’s what it’s about.”