Highly-cultivated beats continue to spring from the mind of a young Moroccan man named Hamza aka saib. Saib. instrumentals are distinguished by their elite musicality, a reflection of Hamza’s proclivity with the guitar and natural feel for melody and rhythm. His extraordinary output ranges from dusty, compressed lo-fi cuts to jazz, swing and bossanova. We’ve tried humbly to capture this diversity, focusing heavily on those hypnotic head-nodding tunes perfect for a lazy Sunday. Skip around a bit to hear blues- and jazz-influenced guitar playing, and stay through the end for a pair of tributes to the two great beatmakers.
Saib. admits owing inspiration to Nujabes and other musicians who compose for anime, this according to a 2017 interview Hamza gave to StereoFox. The cut “Sakura Trees” beautifully borrows the same sample heard in Nujabes’ “Brothel Love” from the famous anime Samurai Champloo, and “Butterfly Lovers” has an unmistakeable East Asian feel. “I used to play blues, fingerstyle music and progressive rock and I ended up focusing on improvisation, bossa-nova and jazz,” Hamza tells Stereofox. “Three years ago my brother introduced me to music production and suggested to start recording music on the laptop, I really wanted to make sounds like Nujabes (my phone had the full Nujabes discography and I was really into Japanese Hip-hop at the time), so I started messing around with Ableton and here we are now!”
Leading beat labels Chillhop Music and Hip Dozer frequently feature saib. on their compilations. “West Lake” from Chillhop’s 2017 Fall Essentials is simply sublime, and one of the producer’s most enduring tunes. Its delicate string melody evokes ripples spreading across reflective water on a chilly morning. The title likely alludes to West Lake in China’s Hangzhou province, where Hamza has been studying mandarin and computer science. Much saib. music has the intention and the ability to evoke different landscapes. His Buena Vista EP from Hip Dozer indulges bossanova and South American musical tropes. “Palm Trees” plucks a familiar jazz melody in a tropical style. “Groovy Blues” brings to mind a southern United States speakeasy, and “Funk It” sounds like a sunny city sidewalk glazed with the smell of marijuana.
Saib. may have an EP or two on the horizon in 2018. He has dedication, talent and a prodigious capacity for music making, so EP or not, staying chooned to his channels will yield only positive results and perpetual vibes. Saib. is entertaining to be sure, but beyond the tunes he evinces something greater - a glimpse of the boundless potential behind this beats music.