Review: Despite a long career that's included outings on a swathe of high-profile labels - Freerange, Church, Kolour and Scissor & Thread included - deep house don Greg Stewart AKA DJ Aakmael has not previously released on legendary New York stable Nite Grooves. On this label debut, the veteran producer brings his "A-game" to the table. First up is "Joust", a rolling chunk of ear-pleasing peak-time deep house blessed with mind-altering electric piano loops, delay-laden musical flourishes and serious amounts of percussive swing. Turn to the virtual B-side and you'll find "Takewon", a rhythmically tougher concoction that shares the title track's obsession with tweaking and subtly altering hazy and tactile electric piano motifs.
Review: Having spent the last few years championing vinyl-only releases, London-based deep house imprint Slow Down has finally decided to make some of its' releases available on digital download. Fittingly, they've reached for the label's 2014 debut release first, a brilliant four-tracker from long-serving U.S producer Greg Stewart, better known as DJ Aakmael. Each of the four tracks is wonderfully warm, rich and gently life affirming, with Stewart variously making use of bluesy sampled loops, fluid piano motifs, deep-space chords, wild organ solos, tactile New Jersey garage basslines and brilliantly programmed percussion. In other words, it's a collection of top quality deep house tracks from a producer who's been at the top of his game since the 1990s.
Review: Virginia-based Greg Stewart once again dons the now familiar DJ Aakmael guise for a first outing on Monologues. Predictably, the sometime Church, Dimensions Recordings and Freerange contributor is at the top of his game throughout, delivering a pair of highly playable original tracks. First up is "Dahlin", a wonderfully melodious and floor-friendly affair in which Stewart demonstrates his ability to create drama out of a handful of killer loops (think strings, harps, and so on). He flips the script a little on "Organik", wrapping positive synthesizer chords and meandering Hammond organ solos around no-nonsense drums and a killer analogue bassline. Both tracks are given the remix treatment, too, with Ben Gomori's sleazier, early morning tech-house tweak of "Organik" standing out.
Review: DJ Aakmael is Greg Stewart of Richmond, Virginia. Producing since 2004, some say he creates some of the deepest and rawest house tracks of today's deep house scene! There's some real proper emotive gear for the late night on the smooth and sexy groove of "Mood Capacity" while "Pass It" rounds up in style on this soulful Motor City style affair; think Three Chairs! Speaking of which, "Deep Side" will appeal to fans of Big Strick/7 Days Entertainment's style of inner city blues plus there's equally dreamy and summery vibes on the lush "Kosmic Bounce"with its ecstatic xylophone vibes keeping up with some dusty beats on this lo-slung groove to make you move. Tip!
Review: Long-serving producer DJ Aakmael has been in fine form of late, delivering headline-grabbing EPs on Church, Kolour LTD and People of Earth. Daydreeming [sic] sees him debut on Jimpster's similarly vintage Freerange imprint with a particularly strong E.P. The title track sets the mood, with swirling strings, twinkling pianos and heart-breaking vocal samples smothering a bumpin', low-slung house groove. Meda Fury artist Rimbaudian provides the obligatory remix, filtering the string samples wjilst expertly beefing up the already sizeable bottom end. Elsewhere, "Basement 2" cleverly combines Andres style sample-house with a dreamy chords and luscious electronics, while "Beacot Road" is a rich, luxurious, jammed-out deep house roller.
DJ Aakmael - "Swagga" (Appian remix) - (7:04) 121 BPM
Anaxander - "My People" - (6:17) 125 BPM
Anaxander - "My People" (Michael Zucker Finale edit) - (6:08) 125 BPM
Review: Aside from releasing an impressive amount of material on the UnXpozd label, DJ Aakmael has seen his music grace the catalogues of Uzuri and Bumpin' City Records, among others, while Anaxander has gone through imprints like Local Talk and Quintessentials. This week, however, the pair team up and drop a track each on Late Night Running."Swagga" by the former is a soulful Chicago house belter that is remixed into techier shapes by Appian, while the latter goes deep, straight and majestic on the house beats with "My People", only to be driven even deeper by Michael Zucker. Straight up lush house vibes.
Review: Next up on New York imprint Scissor & Thread is label chief Francis Harris collaborating on "Mercy Of Means" with DJ Aakmael. He has built a reputation for some of the deepest, rawest house music sounds coming out of the States, releasing well-received tracks on the likes of Freerange Records, Release Sustain, Kolour Dogmatik and NDATL. The title track sees the pair conjure up some deep and spiritual vibes before they fly solo on a couple of tracks each. "Deep Muzik" sees the Virginia based Aakmael deliver his signature 'raw' sound, while Harris gets properly deep and dusty on the bittersweet and melancholic hypnotism of "Part Song" .
Review: Its business as usual for Steve Bug's Hamburg based Poker Flat Recordings. This label has been nailing the tech house sound for the better part of fifteen years and better than most, fact! This new mini compilation showcases their latest recruits who keep on with the label's modus operandi just nicely. NYC's Manik is still at it and "Memory One" shows us he's still got it too on this smooth tech house groover, as does Paul Yudin on "Casino Time" which could very well have been at home on sister label Dessous. Wouter de Moor 's "Bon Voyage" gets a lot deeper with and minimal with its razor sharp synth melody guiding you through the darkness. DJ Aakmael's "Dubb 3" is reminiscent of Larry Heard's "Can U Feel It" from its killer bassline through to its gorgeously melancholic atmosphere.