Waajeed can’t stop and don’t try to slow him down. The Detroit producer has blown through the underground like an arctic front, bringing the intuitive funk of a beatmaker savant to a deep house and soulful house scene that was in danger of feeling cloistered, manufactured and ultimately dull. DJs are inborn audiophiles: all of those fuzzy textures and the impossibly minuscule detail that form the spine of a Waajeed track will set their brains on fire when they’re dropped in hi-fi.

Prior to his mix for Carl Craig’s Detroit Love series, Hocus Pocus on Deviation cuts away at the landscape like a sheer cliff to show Waajeed’s genesis, stacking layers of sedimentary sound like geographic epochs. The end result is incredibly pleasing; in fact this is about as close to a perfect EP as I can imagine. “Abracadabra” drowns us in the lights and candied skulls of Mardi Gras with congas and bongos by Mark Flash. “Lotta Bounce” and “Let Your Love” are pure dancefloor accelerants: pour these out, stand back and toss a match like John McClane. “32oz” makes me think of Questlove making the music for a Tim Burton film – dramatic, demented and it holds together because it takes itself seriously. No DJ can afford not to take any record by Waajeed deadass seriously.

Waajeed: Hocus Pocus / Deviation / October 2019 / 12″ vinyl/digital

1. Waajeed: Abracadabra (05:25
2. Waajeed: Lotta Bounce (06:01)
3. Waajeed: Let Your Love (05:57)
4. Waajeed: 32oz (06:18)


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Artist: Waajeed
Title: Hocus Pocus EP
Label: Deviation
Release Date: October 2019