Aybee / Afrikan Sciences – ‘Sketches Of Space’ 2LP [Deepblak Recordings]

Big record this, with the two of our favourite artists, who happen to be the flagship producers for one of our most loved labels, coming together for a tribute of sorts to the compositional style of Miles Davis.

While most Deepblak plates are buy on site, it’s label-boss Aybee who constantly surprises us with new sounds and directions. His Worlds LP last year was up there with some of the best new house being produced, and the more you dig in to his projects (including o1o) the more you get blown away by his studio workings. Dedicated studio cat here, pushing music deeper with every recording.

The same can be said for Afrikan Sciences, who’s been at the live and innovative spearhead of the label he’s been reppin’ ever since it’s inception. Afrikan Sciences may not be seen as being as prolific a producer, with only a handful of physical releases to his name, but he’s been equally – if not even more – devastating in turning club music in to new directions. Sit by yourself, turn the speaker up loud and get Theta Brain Wave Sync on the deck, and you’ll see how talented this guy is.

The fact that they’re friends, work on the same label and now have come together for a collaborative push of new music is a positive sign for us all. Ignoring the rules that house music sets for them, you’ve got to think that they’ve had quite a hand in each other’s developments and the unique sounds coming from Deepblak, especially with Aybee’s video-log containing shared jam sessions between the two in the studio going back to before 2010.

On to the record, and let’s start with the obvious points. Everyone’s got their most played Miles Davis record, their favourite that stays with them. Recorded and released in 1960, Sketches Of Spain was, for many, Miles Davis’ masterpiece. Fusing Spanish club music of the era with American jazz, it was seen as more accessible and less improvisational, just a stone-cold classic.

Not that that background information is particularly relevant, as Sketches Of Space isn’t purely routed to this album or period in Davis’ career. What it is is a dedication to his improvisational nature, transcending the genre, and all musical boundaries, crossing over in to realms that were previously inaccessible.

Aybee and Afrikan Sciences channeled this spirituality and live nature of improvisation across multiple sessions to bring us these recordings. Five tracks in total, which seem to be split in to three different ‘suites’ of recording, with the three parts of ‘Deep East Suite’ taking up well over half the album.

Not to take anything away from the others, but it’s these three cuts that open the album that really kick you on to another astral plane. To draw more easy comparisons, like On The Corner (my personal favourite record of all time) these start and stop suddenly, upbeat patterns chop and move in their own unique time signatures while the noisy electronics and keys crowd over the top.

The other parts of the album slow it down a bit, more thoughtful hazy live jams. It’s easy to get lost in the drums and horn synths with things slowed down, and minimised out. Perfectly balanced, never boring, it’s pure vibes the entire back-half of the record. Still using the same elements that gave the ‘Deep East Suite’ pieces they’re character, ‘K-Fetisch’ and ‘Knew What’s Coming’ stay on track with a stripped back and more soulful approach to the improvisation concepts, making them more powerful on impact.

This album is simply amazing, no other words for it. In a space where Sun Ra is becoming a brand with a constant stream of edits, tributes, ‘previously unreleased’ plated and even coffee now, Aybee and Afrikan Sciences are standing out by picking up where the musical spirits they follow left off, not staying in the past.

Get this record quick: grab it on wax, play it loud and let it take you on the journey. Press release below alongside a couple of clips from the record.

via Deepblak

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 honouring 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.