Words created divergencies between beings, because their precise meanings put an opinion around the idea. Music only retains the highest and purest substance of the idea, since it has the privilege of expressing all, whilst excluding nothing. ~ Nadia Boulanger
Deepblak’s Chief Alchemist AYBEE will release his fourth full-length studio album, The Odyssey, in November 2016. 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!”
While the resulting collection of tracks, bound together in sounds used yet disparate in their applications of them, may represent a more accessible AYBEE album than those prior, it still contains within it the DNA of his work with Deepblak Rhythm Czar, Afrikan Sciences – most notably in their improvised, one-take album length Miles Davis homage ‘Sketches of Space‘. That 2014 LP was closely followed by another collaboration, with Jerome Sydenham and Ron Trent as S.A.T., released on the former’s Ibadan Records and pursuing a more techno-driven sound to the polyrhythmic jazz experimentation of ‘Sketches’. Elements of both styles can be found in The Odyssey, as it moves through tempos and styles, yet the approach he has taken regarding the sounds used ensures it will forever be a unique work in his discography – quite literally nothing in his work before or since will sound like this record.
The Odyssey’s artwork is by the artist Grzegorz Redko (www.grzegorzredko.com), whose animations of the cover art will be released online ahead of the album release, lending another dimension to AYBEE’s latest statement of artistic intent, with many more still to come as he keeps climbing that mountain.
Deepblak Chief Connoisseur Damon Bell following years of several outstanding EP’s offers up his debut album in “Blues For The Libyan“. Staying true to his penchant for mixing African rhythms with dance floor aesthetics the Oakland based producer weaves together a tightly knit escapade thru his world. Much like his long standing DJ residencies at S.F.’s “Make Out Room” and Oakland’s “389” Damon has built a solid reputation for his ability to traverse many sounds, and genres into one coherent groove. “Blues For The Libyan” follows suit as Damon melds experimentation, and tradition into a palatable experience for the listener. Tapping into the talents of label mate Afrikan Sciences for “Rhythm Meat” and Oakland based vocalist Khalil Anthony (Chromosome Replacement) the collaborations do well to further Damon’s vision of polyrhythmic dance. Studying percussion in his youth you can feel it’s influence throughout “BFTL” accompanied with Damon’s tinge for a little future dance floor funk. After receiving praise last year from luminaries such as the BBC’s Mary Anne Hobbs, and NYC’s Dope Jams crew Damon’s sound continues to build. BFTL represents Damon’s most outstanding statement to date of modern electronics mixed with traditional impulses. Culminating an authenticity, and honesty that is a breath of fresh air in the present space.
Title – Blues For The Libyan
Cat# – DBR-V025
Artist – Damon Bell
Label – Deepblak
Style?- Deep House/Experimental
Release Date – July 2015
Distributed by – Crosstalk
A1. Chromosome Replacement ft. Khalil Anthony (8:12)
A2. Concrete Caravan (2:50)
B1. Blood (7:40)
B2. Striving To Be Who We Are (5:46)
C1. Rhythm Meat ft Afrikan Sciences (8:31)
C2. Libyan Ether ft. Son of Ororo (6:19)
D1. Broken Feathers (5:27)
D2. Kampala (DBo Vershun) (6:40)
Title – Sketches Of Space
Cat# – DBR-V022
Artist – AYBEE and Afrikan Sciences
Label – Deepblak
Format – 2xLP
Style – Experimental, Future Jazz
Release Date – July 2014
Distributor – Crosstalk Intl.
A1. Deep East Suite Part 01 (The Call) (15:00)
B1. Deep East Suite Part 02 (Response) (15:00)
C1. Deep East Suite Part 03 (Sunward) (7:45)
C2. K-Fetisch 01 (Kosmo Bahn) (5:52)
D1. K-Fetisch 02 (Vibes) (4:04)
D2. Knew What’s Coming (Sculpture) (4:10)
Deepblak’s left, and right arm AYBEE along with Afrikan Sciences offer up an homage to one of the greatest musical innovators of the 20th Century, in Miles Davis. “Sketches of Space” is comprised of LIVE jam sessions recorded over a 3 year span, and two countries . The project though named after Mile’s classic “Sketches of Spain” is not dedicated to any of Miles’s work specifically, but honoring his pioneering spirit from which this project drew fuel.
Particularly Davis’s spirit in his continual search for new sound. This is search led him into the jazz fusion era, birthing a movement of stunning contributions by jazz giants that began to explore the improvisational possibilities of electronic instruments. This era in particular, along with it’s ethos has played a critical role in Deepblak’s creative direction over the years. AYBEE along with Afsci have remained steadfast in pushing themselves sonically, and have drawn an innumerable amount of inspiration from the free flowing vibes of the 70’s jazz fusion era.
“Sketches of Space” is by no means a Jazz album, nor is it a remixing or recreation of Miles’ music. Though it is with him in mind that the two producers entered into the Sketches jam-sessions over two continents (Oakland, US/Berlin DE) to record. Wild, Cosmic, and smooth at times “Sketches” represents the free flowing experimentation that Deepblak as a label cherishes so dearly.
Deepblak Co-Head & Rhythm Czar Afrikan Sciences (aka Eric Porter) returns with his second Full Length project entitled “Theta Wave Brain Sync”. Following the critical acclaim of his 2011 “Means and Ways” LP the Oakland, CA based producer continues to push further into the realms of the rhythmic netherworlds. Much like the famed Fusion movement of the 70’s, Afsci continues to build on the ethos of free-form exploration of rhythm, dance, and sound. Utilizing an expansive rhythmic dialect “Theta Wave Brain Sync” points us inward to a sonic palette free of grids. That special place where numbers, and counting are rendered meaningless leaving nothing left for the listener, but the groove. Carefully crafted Theta is compiled of 11 songs that of themselves can transport the listener to the uncharted. This album will let you go as deep, and far as you desire. Which has always been a hallmark of Porter’s productions. Never the one for complacency “Theta” is without question Afsci’s most ambitious work to date. An album that we proudly hope stands the test of time, and solidifies Porter’s place as one of the outstanding producers, and storyteller’s of his generation.
Title – Theta Wave Brain Sync LP
Cat# – DBR-V018
Artist – Afrikan Sciences
Label – Deepblak
Format – 12” Double Vinyl | Digital
Style – Leftfield
Release Date – Oct 2013
Deepblak Chief Alchemist AYBEE returns unveiling “Worlds” his second full length on Deepblak , and follow up to 2009’s ground breaking “East Oakland Space Program”. Once again we embark on cross dimensional travels into rhythm as AYBEE dives head first into sonic landscapes. “Worlds” is a rhythmic cartography of the many moods of the Oakland, CA based producer. Fusing elements of the cosmic, and the deep as he mines through a host of emotional transitions of the last few years. True to AYBEE’s production aesthetics “Worlds” is full of depth, layers, and colors while touching on various tempos. Always seeking to expand the boundaries, AYBEE once again delivers a long play project that transports the listener while evading convention. We are very proud to present this album which is the first one in Deeplak’s new decade. We sincerely hope that you enjoy the trip.
It’s tempting to try to shed light on Aybee’s second LP by drawing comparisons to other sounds, but Worlds stands resolutely, almost stubbornly, on its own. – Little White Earbuds http://www.littlewhiteearbuds.com/review/aybee-worlds/#.UQpvER1lU0M
As clichéd as albums that set out to be journeys can be, Worlds is not—but it sure does evoke the feeling of travelling on board a spacecraft. From lift-off phase to encounters with lurching bass and beyond, things move at exactly the right pace. – Resident Advisor – http://www.residentadvisor.net/review-view.aspx?id=11909
Listening closely to Aybee’s work — the sound is distinctly his own. When you listen through his tracks, you know he’s behind the controls. A unique sound that always finds another groove, another drum pattern, another world. – Leisure Collective –http://weareleisure.com/in-our-ears/aybee-worlds/
Aybee’s is a different kind of deep. a deep that goes off into the cosmic infinity above you rather than the earthy depths below. threading together borderless ambiance, lurching bass and channeled techno grooves, worlds also seemed to document the voyage of a space shift deep into the unknown. – Teshno – http://www.teshno.com/2012/12/albums-of-the-year-2012.html
The multi-talented Vanese Smith aka Pursuit Grooves makes her debut on Deepblak under her new “91 Fellows” moniker. After establishing herself in recent years with Pursuit Grooves outings heavy in beats, and bass Smith turns her talents to more open sonic landscapes. “91 Fellows” represents as she terms her push into Cinematic Dub leaning heavily on her collegiate film major roots. The project was inspired as a dedication to her grandfather who passed on in 2011.
Through a myriad of ambient textures, and percussion she invites the listener to join her as she
weaves through different emotional headspaces. Six tracks that run like chapters of
saga accompanied by two remixes by Deepblak Chief Alchemist AYBEE, and resident
Rhythm Czar Afrikan Sciences. Deepblak is very honored to play host to the “91
Fellows” project as it represents a beautiful creative milestone for Smith who has
long been one of our favorite producers. We hope that the “91 Fellows” project
translates to the listeners heart as well the ears.
So here we are at the end of 2011 another amazing year, and the close of Deepblak’s first decade. It is impossible to put into words what has transpired over the last 10 years. So many changes accompanied with so much growth. What started out has a creative refuge developed into a path of rhythmic/self exploration. Opening doors to higher truths that within themselves became inspiration to continue the path. A path that has led us to this present moment with you. In this moment I hope that what we have said musically up until this point serves as inspiration. Inspiration to do if nothing else give you the courage to listen to your inner voice.
Our CD compilation “Ten” is a collection of sentimental favorites from the last decade. These songs are not necessarily our most popular, but were selected because they represent certain pivotal emotional points in the story of the label. For many who are new to Deepblak “Ten” serves as a “Hello” giving them a brief snapshot of the last decade of our sound.
We have learned so much yet still have so much to learn. We thank you for this moment, and we hope that you will tag along for the next stage of our evolution…
Love Respect and Power Always!
 Aybee – “Ascending”
 Prof Delacroix – “Build Her”
 Aybee & Afrikan Sciences – “Someone”
 Aybee – “Solaris”
 Afrikan Sciences – “A Decision”
 Dozie – “Sensuality (Aybee Midnite Creep)”
 Blaktroniks – “Petro Sexual”
 Orion 70 – “Blak Planet”
 Aybee – “Love Like No Other”
 Aybee & Trinidadian Deep – “Contact”
 Aybee & Afrikan Sciences – “Threshold”
 Xaphryn Follicle – “Valentina”
Once again I connected with Seattle based Further Records for the “o1o – Futurespective” album. In line with Deepblak’s 10th anniversary “A Futurespective” is a collection of some of Further label head Mark’s favorite recordings by myself under the “o1o” moniker. o1o is short for (Oaklands 1 and Only) and is the name I used when producing at a slower tempo. When Mark pitched the concept you know I was ALL-in. Per usual with Further the record is put together with gorgeous screen printed Artwork with a Limited Edition of 300 shipping worldwide August 15th. I hope you enjoy this project as much as we did putting it together.
Love, Respect, and Power
We are proud to play host to the mighty Afrikan Sciences debut album “Means and Ways”. After producing some of the most cosmic soul juggling tracks of the last decade Afrikan Sciences has finally woven together a full length. Already receiving early run from likes of Gilles Peterson Means and Ways is a watermark of rhythmic freedom. True to previous Afrikan Sciences escapades rhythmic rules are re-programmed, and tuned to cosmic frequencies. These are sounds that you need not attempt to control. Ease yourself open your mind, and let the imagination take the wheel. We hope you Enjoy.
[ Vinyl 12″ EP – DBR-V008 ]
*Written and produced by Eric Porter (ASCAP) for Deepblak Music.
What a disgussssssstingly good release !!!! People arent ready 4 this 1 LOL !!!! FCKIN SICK been waitin 4 some Afrikan Sciences to hit my box 4 nearly a decade !!! WELLL DONE
Douglass’ preoccupation with rhythm, however, fixates on the oddities—the mutations, the dualities and instances of bare collision. His hoarded beats are gleaned from a whirlwind of origins—west London broken beat, the east coast’s ’90s house, ’40s jazz, indigenous African and Latin rhythms—but they’re deployed concurrently and unexpectedly, with cross-beats and displacement used as accents in his own pidgin dialect. ~ Resident Advisor
“Experimental deep soul music from abstract space-funk scientist AYBEE. Recorded on TDK Professional Studio Mastering cassettes using vintage 1970’s Nakamichi tape technology” Only 100 Copies. | BUY | More Info
2. Shelf In Space
3. A Wind For Wayman
5.Sun of Cycle
A few kind words…
Deepblak Chief Alchemist AYBEE unveils his window into the world known as the East Oakland Space Program. This highly anticipated solo album from AYBEE pushes rhythm, and beats far beyond the expectations defined for the urban experience. This project carves musical space for something uniquely Oakland, and resoundingly cosmic. On this trip the talents of Erik Rico, Paul Randolph, Afrikan Sciences, Blaktroniks, and local siren Karyn Paige join AYBEE. In true Deepblak mode all styles are open, avant-garde, and forward. Enjoy
This album is dedicated to the many faces that are swept away by the streets in silence. For those that remain understand that there is a better way, a higher frequency that can lead you to the greatness of who you truly are. I hope that you open your ears, and soul as we journey inward through the Rhythm.
Visionary! – Fred P. (Black Jazz Consortium/ Soul People Music NY)
Welcome to the 25th century soundscape, ocean deep basslines, organic vox and a hotbed of rising talent collaborations, welcome to Aybee’s debut album. Welcome to the future! ESOP needs no genre classifications or box ticking exercises, this is electronic music in its finest form. – Mickey Blanco (Soulfulbeats. Visions UK)
By george, this shit is the bomb! the meter has spoken… and broken – Atjazz / Atjazz Record Co.
HOTT – Ron Trent (Prescription/Future Vision)
An amazing release by a real artist!
An album you can actually listen to!
Once again thanx for sending this
peace – Enrico [volcov / Isoul8]
Aybee’s 2008 release “Blacktropolis” was one of the most pleasant surprises to blare out of my speakers. “East Oakland Space Program” builds on the soulful futuristic sound that has made Aybee a visionary to be reckoned with. “EOSP” contains thirteen heart pounding tracks that will dive deep into your body and force you move to the hypnotic rhythms. The disc begins with “Hidden Treasures”, a deep pulsating groove reminiscent of the early Detroit techno sound. “Windows” is a warm, atmospheric deep dish that’s anchored by the earthy arrangements by Aybee and the vocals of Karen Paige. Another winner is “No Mystery” featuring Paul Randolph, whose deep vocals are a perfect match for Aybee’s spacey compositions. “Love Of” and “Ozzie Davis” are the kind of deep house jazz tracks you’ll love whether you’re on the dance floor or just lounging. “EOSP” is full of funky beats, hip vocals and gorgeous rhythms. This is another quality recording from the Deepblak label that will provide definite satisfaction.
– Reg Dancy (Catchagroove.com)
Written and produced by Armon Bazile (BMI) for Deepblak Recordings 2009.
*01 Co-Written by E. Porter
*04 Co-Written by Karyn Paige
*06 Co-Written by Erik Rico (Lifenotes Music)
*08 Co-Written by Paul Randolph
*10 Co-Written by Eddie Smith
Recorded Mixed, and Engineered by AYBEE at the Deepblak Hall of Science, Oakland California © Deepblak Recordings 2009
(DBR-D022) (P)+ © Deepblak Recordings 2009. All Rights Reserved