Deepblak has been stirring up the scene recently with its though soulful and deep, also dark, futuristic, even industrial sound. Playing a healthy mixture of jazz, techno and hip hop, Aybee gathered his label-mates Erik Rico, Afrikan Sciences, Black Jazz Consortium, o1o, Trinidadian Deep, Blaktroniks, Xaphryn Follicle, Dozie and Mattski to put out the labels first compilation. The first impression? It’s an fantastic compilation, has a very black feeling to it, and it keeps reminding me a lot of Volcov‘s Soul in Motion from 2002. It fuses the sounds of Detroit (think Drexciya, Titonton Duvanté, Underground Resistance and even Waajeed) with the darker parts West London (think Nu Era, Domu or Nubian Mindz). Did I mention it’s an fantastic compilation?
In the not so Distant Future…
Welcome to BLAKTROPOLIS. The future capital city of Earth where Music is the principal form of communication, and energy. The residents of BLAKTROPOLIS work in tandem at the Central Core of the City producing Rhythms, and Harmony that serve as the sole balancing force of life on Earth. In the middle of the 21’st century humanity fell victim to the Great Sterilization. World leaders removed all Soul from music in an attempt to solidify their control of the minds of men. After decades of war the resistance was able to overcome the forces of darkness, and once again awaken humanities creative energies. These are the sounds of BLAKTROPOLIS the city of Soul and Sound…
The compilation starts with a melancholic hip hop track from Xaphryn Follicle, going in a similiar direction as the Reset EP from Flying Lotus. Next up are Blaktronics, making me believe I’m listening to a new Spacek track, beats and voices have a lot in common. Martin Luther King opens the dark and soulful Something Called Love, bending the direction to what’s to follow.. electronic sounds! It’s a mellow broken beat-ish track, again rich of both soul and techno, voted by Volcov as his favorite track: Sensuality from Dozie, remixed by Aybee. Following a deep journey by BJC is Afrikan Sciences who’s draggin the direction of sound to the dancefloor. Heavily broken jazz drums over deep chords and vocals, can best be compared with anything Nubian Mindz.
02. Blaktroniks – Where
03. Mattski – Something Called Love
04. Dozie – Sensuality (AYBEE’s Midnite Creep)
05. Black Jazz Consortium – Forward Elevation
06. Erik Rico – Faster
07. Afrikan Sciences – A Decision
08. AYBEE – Solaris
09. Tangle Eyes – Out The Bag
10. Trinidadian Deep – Track II
11. o1o – Overcome
12. AYBEE – Akiara
So, I could go on saying deep, mellow, dark, soulful – Blaktropolis keeps following those patterns and there’s not one tune I dislike. I tend to say that I prefer the release towards its end, but I get proved otherwise once I’m back at the beginning. It’s a bit sad the cover-artwork isn’t of a high standard, but it’s a young label and the music will surely get attention from young designers aswell. I’m looking forward to anything Deepblak has in the pipeline!
This video features all the tracks from the compilation, if you want to listen to more before you purchase the album as digital release (MP3 or Wave). Also recommend is the the selection of mixtapes from Deepblak‘s website. Physical availability of the album has not yet been mentioned there.