Aybee – The Odyssey [DBRV030]

Deepblak’s Chief Alchemist Aybee come with his fourth full-length studio album, ‘The Odyssey’. As befitting its grand title, this newest long-player finds him concerned with personal journeys: both the personal one that has brought him to this point – living in Berlin, 15 years since founding Deepblak in his native Oakland – and the one that beckons for him personally and creatively in future: Aybee sees himself as being halfway up a mountain, looking back on where he has come from, and to where he will be headed next – both concepts play a profound role in the emotional textures of the album, which in true Deepblak fashion draws from jazz, deep house, techno, hip hop, blues, experimentation, cinema, space, time and infinity. ‘The Odyssey’ represents a change-up for AYBEE in several ways, forged from a desire to keep expectations at bay and throw something of a curveball for those who felt they had him pegged: “a good pitcher always keeps you off balance”. This newest work saw him deliberately limit his sound palette in a creative exercise that challenged him to create a full body of work from a small pre-selected library of sonic elements. While this was restricting in some aspects, the approach to – as he puts it – “throw the ingredients in a basket and cook with it later” gave him more freedom to focus on atmosphere and groove instead of putting hours into trying out different options – “otherwise I’d still be in the studio now trying to work out which hi-hat to use on the third track!”

vinyl / CD

Aybee – The Odyssey [DBRV030]

Aybee – Man Over Machine [DBRV029]

Armon ‘Aybee’ Bazile is undoubtedly one of electronic music’s most consistent performers. He’s barely put a foot wrong since making his debut in 2004, and continues to deliver high-grade material on a regular basis. Predictably, there’s plenty to get excited about on this 12″, too. “Man Over Machine” is a winding, constantly building gem, with rising and falling, spaced out melody loops riding an off-kilter techno rhythm. On the flip, you’ll find the deep space chord progressions, delay-laden electronics and deep tech-house grooves of “Build Them (Solstice Mix)”, the intricate pianos solos and Soichi Terada style deep house vibes of “Legacy”, and the off-kilter deep house/IDM fusion of “Melted Chains”.

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Aybee – Man Over Machine [DBRV029]

Aybee – The Heart Of The Sun [DBRV028]

Aybee returns on his always reliable Deepblak imprint to give us another dose of the real proper deep stuff. Just one side on this release from the man now in Berlin, but it’s quality not quantity we say. “The Heart Of The Sun” is a raw and tunnelling cut with eerie synth melodies, a killer bassline and dark analogue drums giving this track its momentum and its edge. A fine taste of a long-mooted new Aybee album due on Deepblak in the coming months.

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Aybee – The Heart Of The Sun [DBRV028]

Afrikan Sciences – Means & Ways [DBRV006LP]

Bursting out of Oakland into the ionosphere, a hot pocket of free jazz, house, blues, African & Latin rhythms, a fully shuffled deck of everything that might expand your head, all fed into the MPC, and hot-wired right into your heart. Some five years after it was released digitally, Aybee’s Deepblak label revisit the wonderful Afrikan Sciences LP Means &Ways to grant it a double LP vinyl edition. For those unfamiliar with the album, the 11-track set showed Eric Porter refusing to stand still, variously touching on polyrhythmic IDM, dusty jazz-hop, dense post-techno wonkiness, hard-to-pigeonhole madness (see “Alpha Male Syndrum”), sparkling aural experiments (“Ways & Means”), and pleasingly off-kilter dancefloor fare. Amongst this category you’ll find deliberately out-of-time deepness, slipped broken beat, and dense drum workouts (“NanoRock Skank”). As usual, Porter’s tunes are bizarre but brilliant.

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Afrikan Sciences – Means & Ways [DBRV006LP]

Octa Octa – Further Trips EP [DBRV026]

Brooklyn based producer shows off his knack for rich grooves, & melodies that are intoxicating in nature. The drive, & atmosphere are what led Deepblak’s Aybee to his work, & these ingredients on display as they speak to the head, & the feet.

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Octa Octa – Further Trips EP [DBRV026]

Aybee – The Alchemy EP [DBRV023]

Aybee follows up the experimental musings of the Sketches Of Space LP with an EP directed in large part directly at the dancefloor experience. In what could be called Aybee’s first Techno outing, ‘The Alchemy EP’ sees Aybee offering 3 tunes which mesh rhythm, drive, and sonic colorings. In line with the Deepblak creative ethos, and rounded off with a simple directive.

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Aybee – The Alchemy EP [DBRV023]

Prof Delacroix – Build Her Remixes [DBRV010]

As the Deepblak Ten year Anniversary continues, it’s time to revisit Prof. Delacroix’s deep classic “Build Her”. Beautiful classic deep house tracks with a rawer edge wich takes away the over kill on artificial sweetnes. Comes with Afrikan Science, Fred P and Aybee remixes.

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Prof Delacroix – Build Her Remixes [DBRV010]