DJ Aakmael doesn’t slip between genres so much as he generates new ones. You can slap a label on the whole thing and call it all deep house (and for the sake of clarity we’ll do that here), but it doesn’t quite fit — like Fred P, Aakmael’s approach to music is true to tradition yet boldly experimental and utterly uninterested in what anyone else on the planet is doing right about now.

Norm Talley’s Upstairs Asylum is well into a second record-breaking year and there not much let up. On Deepness Xpozd, he provides a platform for Aakmael’s continuing dancefloor meditations. “Deep Cookie” is no joke — grounded by fingersnaps and Latin percussion as gorgeous, icy synths pierce the heavens and drag a gothic landscape behind them. I’m not sure what synths Aakmael has on this album — the centerpiece of “Singaye” sounds incredibly thin, like a preset from a DX7 played in steam room.

More quality jams are on the B side, with a jazz sound that characterizes what I think is the best of Aakmael’s productions. The organ riff on “Jimmy” (after Jimmy Smith?) taps into some deep and mysterious wellspring — it’s one of those tracks you listen to and start to figure out from a production perspective before you realize that knowing too much about its inner mechanisms and design will spoil the magic. Ditto that on “4evr,” the shortest possible title for a piece of stunning grace and beauty. Here Aakmael’s sound verges almost toward downtempo, but with a steely jack that makes it his own.

DJ Aakmael: Deepness Xpozd (Upstairs Asylum / 12″ Vinyl / September 2022)
A1. DJ Aakmael: “Deep Cookie” (6:26)
A2. DJ Aakmael: “Singaye” (7:33)
B1. DJ Aakmael: “Jimmy” (6:27)
B2. DJ Aakmael: “4evr” (7:07)

⚪️ Disclosure Statement: This record was submitted as a promo.



Originally published in 5 Mag issue 201 featuring the making of Detroit techno documentary God Said Give Em Drum Machines, 10 years of Heist with Dam Swindle, Nala on Mi Domina, Ultra Nate, Steve Mill, what Spotify is doing to dance music (and why it’s a bad thing) & more. Help support 5 Mag by becoming a member for just $1 per issue.

More like this? Get it in your inbox: