Promoting stillness through sound, Deepblak Recordings is the visionary label releasing left-of-field soundscapes and entering subliminal voids with their omnipotent rhythm.
Working with a vast range of genres from avant-garde to experimental jazz and soul, Deepblak Recordings is the progressive music project fronted by maverick producer/visual artist Aybee. Repping for Blaktroniks, Afrikan Sciences, Ethil and Huxley, this is the D-i-Y record label that only invests in DJs and artists it truly believes in. Placing an emphasis on dance-floor inspired soul, Aybee describes the paths he uses to discover new talent as “a natural evolution of musical dialogue, that takes place organically between a family of artists.” Considering good music to be what resonates internally – a spark that cannot be quelled – the decade-old label endeavours to create evolutionary-like moments in music that encourage everyone to get involved with more elaborately produced electronic arrangements. i-D online got an exclusive sound bite of action from the boy himself. Read on to find out what went into everything that he has nurtured through his work, today, here, now. You heard.
Why did you decide to name the label Deepblak? It was in reference to the depths of the void… Total stillness… Oneness.
Who are your strongest musical influences and references? There is an old saying in the South (U.S.A) that ‘the blues is the Roots, the rest is the fruits.’ It is the mining of that emotional space that is our strongest reference. The exploration of the force that expresses itself through us via the rhythm.
What are some of the barriers to entry you have encountered whilst establishing your label? Oddly enough I started the label to avoid the barriers to entry. If you take your music to someone else to put out you eventually will fall victim to what their vision is. If you’re seeking to transmit your signal with the purest clarity, you need to do it yourself.
What are your plans for growth? To continue to expand my consciousness which in turn gives me a greater colour palette to paint with. The music itself opens the appropriate doors. I am always looking for artistic growth opportunities. I would love to do more film and take a swipe at doing some sound installations.
What are some of the up-and-coming D-i-Y record labels you tip for 2011? I have so much love and respect for many of my friends who run excellent labels, but the one that I am in constant awe of is Seattle-based Further Records. I am proud to call them friends. They run a label like it should be run. They champion music that they love, contrary to what the popular trends are. That’s the type of courage that helps art excel.
What are some the major labels you aspire to build Deepblak to the calibre of? Blue Note and CTI. Both iconic jazz labels associated with timeless recordings, maps and messages.
How do you describe the ethos of the label? We are the children of the blues, telling stories with electric tools.
What have you got coming up for the label in 2011? We have our ten year anniversary CD and a slew of vinyl releases from myself, Afrikan Sciences, Damon Bell and Blaktroniks. A few live shows and a new monthly gathering in our hometown of Oakland. Also some possible EU dates.
Describe a typical day of work at the label? Meditation/acknowledgement, emails, and then creation.
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Text: Milly McMahon