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Orayta X Shantel

10/09/21Israeli Vocal Phenomenon Victoria Hanna Receives ‘Kabbalistic’ Remix Treatment By Acclaimed German Producer Stefan Hantel

A slightly belated 'Shana Tova' and 'gut Shabbes' to everyone enjoying the first few days of the year 5782! We sincerely hope it will be a better one. To celebrate the occasion, we have a brand new track by Israeli vocalist Victoria Hanna or rather a bouncing 'Kabbalistic' remix of a track from her 2018-released, self-entitled debut album, readied by Frankfurt's very own Stefan Hantel, better known under his resounding moniker Shantel. 

Those who are familiar with Victoria Hanna's work will be aware that she is more than just a singer. In her own words, "the concept of being a singer is very boring. It's much more interesting to feel that I am a sculptor, a painter in sound. The space is my canvas, my voice is the paint and the letters are my buddies," she describes. Hanna truly is a phenomenon, who tirelessly explores and transcends the boundaries of the human voice as well as the ability of language to create new worlds. 

Her style has been labeled as 'Aramaic hiphop' and 'Kabbalistic rap,' which definitely points listeners in the right direction, although she has arguably created a spectrum of sound entirely her own, "exquisitely combining the ancient, the traditional and the modern," ultimately translating her strictly orthodox heritage into an "idiosyncratic and contemporary context." 

"Orayta" itself, the album track in question, is an "Aramaic term of endearment for the Torah, referring to the secret code of light, the point of origin inside the atoms, instilled in these words, the holy words Moses received in Sinai. A book which is 'more than a book.' So much more, that it becomes something like a woman in the eyes of the writers." Taken from the main book of Kabbalah, the lyrics to "Orayta" praise "the wisdom nestled in the old texts. A language which borders on incantation."

Enter German producer and fabled 'Disko Partizani' Shantel, who has always had a close relationship with Israeli musical culture. He was the first German artist to shoot a music video in Israel and has been performing there on the regular since the early 1990s. In 1997, he actually moved to Tel Aviv, where he produced many local artists such as Efrat Ben Zur, Zehava Ben as well as the debut of acclaimed Mediterranean surf rock outfit Boom Pam

So without further ado, we welcome you to Shantel's 'Kabbalistic' reinterpretation of "Orayta",  bridging "the raw, mystical sound of ancient Hebrew and the modern world of sleek and expansive hiphop production" to danceable effect.

From the Zohar, Volume III, page 166b
A love song for the Torah by Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai.

Rabbi Shimon wept and opened and said:
Torah, Torah, light of all worlds
How many seas and rivers and sources and springs
flow from you in every direction
All is from you, all above and all below on you depend

Torah, Torah
How shall I say you?
You are a beloved doe
a gracious roe
above and below

Torah, Torah
Who of your lovers may suckle on you?
Delights of your master,
Who will reveal and recall your secrets and your treasures?

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom