Review: Since re-focusing on deep house a couple of years back, former Slum Village and Platinum Pied Pipers beat-maker Waajeed has delivered a series of must-have EPs. Unsurprisingly, the Strength EP is another essential release. His original version of "Strength" is utterly sublime: a perfectly pitched chunk of soul-fired brilliance that not only boasts an impeccable neo-soul vocal from Ideeyah, but also chiming Amazonian melodies, sumptuous orchestration and killer drum machine percussion. Waajeed delivers a breezy remake of his own where jammed out piano riffs, sweeping strings and rich sub-bass come to the fore, before fellow Detroiter Jay Daniel re-invents the cut as a wonky chunk of slipped hip-hop soul bliss. As if that wasn't enough to set the pulse racing, Jon Dixon's deep tropical house rework is also superb.
Review: Former Slum Village and Platinum Pied Piper beat maker Waajeed has thrown himself into soulful, synth-laden deep house production of late, primarily by making his presence felt on cuts by fellow Detroit legend Theo Parrish. Here he strikes out on his own with a brilliantly colourful, imaginative and on-point EP of solo productions. There's much to admire throughout, from the looked vibraphone melodies, darting brass and undulating broken house rhythms of "Shango", to the Dego and Kaidi Tatham style, jazz-funk influenced electro smoothness of "Better Late Than Never". Opener "Winston's Midnight Disco", where hushed synth-disco samples are wrapped into alien synth lines and elastic bass, is also rather fine.
Review: Eleven years have passed since Wajeed released his most recent solo album, the instrumental hip-hop focused "The War LP". In that time, the Detroiter has expanded his musical repertoire somewhat, drawing greater influence from the Motor City's illustrious deep house scene. It's this side of his output that he explores on "For The Dirt", giddily flitting between acid-fired piano house ("From The Dirt"), Omar-S style tech-house/deep house fusion ("After You Left"), disco and funk-influenced vocal workouts (see "Things About You"), tasty tech-soul songs ("I Ain't Safe", the wonderful "Make It Happen") and jazz-flecked deep house dustiness (the percussive and swinging, "My Father's Rhythm").
Review: Soulful hip-hop beat-maker Waajeed's transformation into a Detroit deep house star continues apace, with the former Slum Village man's second EP for Dirt Tech Reck in as many months. He begins by doffing a cap to Theo and Moodymann on "Get Down", a shuffling, warm and dreamy workout full of rich disco bass, twinkling electric piano keys, gentle vocal samples and layered hand percussion. Confirmed summer jam "Through it All" is a breezy, string-laden bastion of piano-heavy positivity complete with bustling analogue bass and "Strings of Life" style solos, while B-side "Kingdom" sits somewhere between crunchy Chicago house, gospel and lilting Motor City deepness. Yes, please!