Future Classics

Oakland-Based Producer Aybee Proves Movement Knows No Genre

House / Techno

Aybee: ever the advocate for pushing boundaries when assembling sound or vision.

Recording artist, filmmaker and label head, Armon Bazile aka Aybee, always keeps his creative chops at stay-ready mode. With The Odyssey, his fourth full length release on his Deepblak imprint, the Oakland, CA native challenged himself to create a full body of work from a small pre-selected library of sonic elements. This decision, which was posted on his website, gave an emphasis on how to use the musical tools presented, as opposed to which ones to employ. As a result, Aybee, who now resides in Berlin, delivers modal melodies and polyrhythmic creations that extend beyond standard 4/4 constructions. His refusal to stay in the 120 bpm cul-de-sac, engenders the spirit of 4Hero, Photek, LTJ Bukem, Afronaught, Titonton Duvante, and Recloose. All rhythmically diverse artists. Who, in the early 2000’s produced all across the spectrum of breakbeat, house and techno.

The selections “Down the Rabbit Hole” and “Man Over Machine” project a cold automated existence that at first refuses to produce even the most faint scintilla of human affectation. “Rabbit Hole”, equipped with John Carpenter dread, maintains that Aybee trademark of a “vigorous inner knocking” that refuses to be ignored. And in the final moments of “Machine”, when the acid bass line is pulled back. Humanity appears in the form of a well hidden conga drum.

“Asteroid Lust”, an emphatic deep house communique, unhurriedly percolates along with minor key phrasing. This time the ‘vigorous inner knocking’ is presented by wood-blocks, and works the listener into a heady and blissed-out cycle of motion. With the selections, “Build Them” and “Ark”, we are treated to skillful broken-beat composition. “Ark” possesses more of a synchronized marching mechanism over the loosely scattered bass. While “Island In the Sky”, is just the call from the mighty talking drum via a Deep House narrative.

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John-Paul Shiver

John-Paul Shiver

SF Music Journalist who writes for @pulplab @sfsonicmag , likes more songs about buildings and food. He's written for several Bay Area Music publications over the past 15 years.