hoyah // The Warp feat. Isaiah Hull

Watch the video for hoyah’s debut single on BRUK, featuring Isaiah Hull.

The process leading to Samuel Hatchwell’s new project hoyah started out with a need for limitations to provide some focus for the long-serving sound engineer and producer. He set out the following guidelines to accompany the overarching idea of ‘set + setting’:

No ‘beats’
Saxophones are the voice
Stay away from the computer for as long as possible

Hatchwell took a deep dive in search of every saxophone sample he could find, threw them all into his MPC and then proceeded to weave together a variety of pieces. The focus on a particular instrument brings cohesion to the album, but equally the limited sound inspired freedom to experiment with other techniques and tools. At times one or two sax voices sound naked and undisturbed, while elsewhere you might only hear jagged shards or distant ghosts as they pass through aggravated processing.

Beyond the sound itself, the name hoyah was born with the flippancy of the 21st Century and ratified by ancient tradition. After the music had been made, Hatchwell plucked the name out of thin air as a play on the TikTok meme ‘can I get a hoya,’ and subsequently discovered on a dive into his Jewish heritage that in old Hebrew hoyah means, ‘to be, become, come to pass, exist, happen, fall out.’ This distinction between Jewish concepts and modern political conflations is important to Hatchwell, who finds himself consistently having to separate Judaism from the situation in the Middle East and its ongoing genocide.

Subtly calling to mind the understated cosiness of real-life sax players like Sam Gendel as well as the fragmented sample manipulation of Matmos and Tim Hecker’s approach to processed noise, hoyah’s debut album absolutely manifests an idea and musical practice as something new and intentional.

set + setting is out now on BRUK. Cop it on Bandcamp.