Weekend Mixtapes

Not that many mixtapes this time, but enough to get you through a weekend. And hey, it’s never been about quantity, has it?

The latest Solid Steel show just went up on SoundCloud and this week it’s been Brighton’s Ital Tek stepping up on the decks. Download now!

Al Tourettes comes from Bristol and both his production and DJ mixes are a bit darker than what you usually get served here. If you’re not afraid of that, check out his Besti-mix.

Until very recently, I was a bit worried not to have heard any new music from DZA, but the Moscow-based beatmaker just released a new EP on his own label. What a good occasion to promote it with a guestmix for Cosmopolyphonic (there’s also a free tune!)

You are probably subscribed to BTS Radio for a long time, but let me make sure you haven’t missed the latest guestmix from Shigeto!

And lastly here’s one from the archives: 180 recorded sets from the one and only LTJ Bukem!

May 19,2012 I really enjoyed this live-set by Deepblak’s Aybee, so I added it to the list. And while I’m at it, check out the Gang Colours guestmix for Mary Anne Hobbs.

o1o – Bread and Circuses EP

Cover Artwork

Cover Artwork

Oakland’s Aybee is back with a new EP under the o1o moniker. On Bread and Circuses he keeps it deep, but with a different twist than the music on the East Oakland Space Program album from earlier this year.

Not sure how to describe the music best. It’s not house or techno, this is definitely more hip-hop influenced. The third track features vocals from Malena Perez, you might remember it from the video I mentioned before on Twitter.01. The Meeting
02. Moonstalk
03. Refuge feat. Malena Perez
04. Release The Kraken

You can listen to two of the tracks in full-length on the Deepblak SoundCloud. Or get your copy directly from the label.

Aybee – East Oakland Space Program

Cover Artwork

Cover Artwork

Here comes a new album from Deepblak founder Armon Bazile. Actually it’s his debut album for the Aybee moniker. I was lucky to have received a copy minutes before leaving the city, as I was about to spend the next 24 hours on a bus. Turns out the album was the best travel companion I could get. Sitting on the bus gave me time to dive deeply into the soundscapes, making me forget about space and time.

That said, I’m not sure if I compliment East Oakland Space Program (EOSP) by calling it a headphone album, but it deserves a lot of attention for the details. As much as the term deep is overused these days, I couldn’t think of any more appropriate word to describe the music. If you’re familiar with Blaktropolis Volume 1 or Deepblak’s work in general, you will know what I mean.01. Hidden Treasures (feat. Afrikan Sciences)
02. Cycles Of She
03. Corner Bending
04. Windows (feat. Karyn Paige)
05. Assignment 7
06. So Much Greater (feat. Erik Rico)
07. Get Free
08. No Mystery (feat. Paul Randolph)
09. Love Of
10. Galactik Slap
11. Why (feat. Blaktroniks)
12. Ozzie Davis
13. Going Home

While the overall mood of EOSP stays homogenic throughout the album, there is enough versatility created by its complex beat patterns, putting it near genre milestones like Carl Craig’s Innerzone Orchestra. Ranging from jazzy broken beats to mellow hip-hop beats, Aybee fuses different influences to put together more than just another deep house album. A big surprise are the vocal contributions from singers such as Paul Randolph, Erik Rico or Blaktroniks, which nicely contribute to the album.

My favourite tracks on the album are Ozzie Davis, Why, Hidden Treasures and Going Home.

At the moment, EOSP seems to be available only directly from Deepblak, though it should be available on a wider basis within the next couple of weeks. Limited availability on vinyl has been confirmed, but no release date has been set. I also want to point out this interview with Aybee, giving some background information on the man and his work.

So I asked around, part 2

Instead of following the usual Best-of talk at the end of each year, I sent some questions to some of the musicians I like.  In the second part of my survey, I asked about the expectations for the new year.

Question: What do you look out for most in 2009?

“The Phlash and Friends LP “Deep Electronic Sounds” on Archive will be amazing. Also Star Wars the T.V series should come out. And Transfomers 2 – The Revenge Of The Fallen and GI JOE – The Rise Of Cobra! For the child inside you! (urgh!)”
– Domu (TrebleO, Archive)

“donaeo, fuzzy logik, phlash & friends, jodi milliner, jose carretas, that damned eska album (just stop making us wait now!), d’angelo(?) (same thing!) erykah’s part two, supposedly a new kodwo eshun book called ‘hat and beard’, nutriot.com, kenny dope @ soul heaven fingers crossed, the return of broken beat but not as we know it…”
– Bopstar (Restless Soul)

“Creativity, Progression and Change”
– Mark de Clive-Lowe (Antipodean)

“In 2009, simply look out for what you don’t already know! We will see more genres becoming interwoven next year and I reckon it’s going to be a very good year for new music.”
– Jonny Miller (Phuture Lounge, Jus’Listen)

“I look forward to putting out my first solo lp. It’s been quite a process making it and I cant wait to let people hear what I’ve been doing. I also look forward to building my wealth and making my marriage stronger. These days people are getting divorced left and right so this year I plan on doing things that will keep the wife and kids as happy as I can make them.”
– Probe DMS (Spymusic)

“The continual emergence of The DEEP and Rhythmically spiritual.”
– Aybee (Deepblak)

Just in case you missed it: here is the link to part one, taking a look back at 2008.

So I asked around, part 1

Instead of following the usual Best-of talk at the end of each year, I sent some questions to some of the musicians I like. Here’s the first part, looking back at 2008.

Question: What do you feel was the most overlooked thing in 2008?

“the kind of uk funky that broken beat and jazz heads would get – a lot of people in our corner of the music world wouldnt ever listen to black uk funky house, because the best known stuff is frankly too cheesy, but producers like fuzzy logik and hardhouse banton and donaeo, are making wicked stuff. im a fan. i dont play it in my sets but theres a lot of music types i love that i dont play in my sets so thats nuthin new. then again, in the wider world they havent been ignored at all, banton and donaeo are both huge. but they were ignored by our world.”
– Bopstar (Restless Soul)

“Erik Rico”
– Aybee (Deepblak)

“I think the most overlooked thing in 2008 was individuality. People are so scared of what other people think these days and worry so much that they are looking and sounding current or cool. Lets just slow it all down again and set the pace for change a little less frantic and appreciate things a little longer. With all these 2 minute beats people’s attention spans have got a little short.”
– Domu (TrebleO, Archive)

“I think the the most overlooked thing this year was the ability to get music out to people easily via the Internet. I met too many good artists sat on a huge amounts of music theyve made that they could release via the web but hadn’t, simply because they didn’t really understand what was possible. The age of making a living from selling records and CDs is pretty much over for most artists, they just have to adjust, learn new things (to develop a live show for example…), embrace and trust the online system and get the music out there to the fans somehow.”
– Jonny Miller (Phuture Lounge, Jus’Listen)

“Well being I’m a super hard r&b fan, I’ll have to go with the Day 26 lp. Everything from the production to the harmonies to the writing was all excellent. You would think these guys are lame cause they were formed on making the band but these kids can sing their asses off.”
– Probe DMS (Spymusic)

The second part will follow tomorrow, where you will get a look at 2009!

Deepblak presents Blaktropolis Volume 1

Cover Artwork

Cover Artwork


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.01. Xaphryn Follicle – Valentina
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, soulfulBlaktropolis 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.