In a world where everything seems to be “aspirational,” it’s so refreshing when you stumble upon something that has no ambitions to be anything other than what it is. The Loudness War has reached epic proportions, and most digital audio has, just like a GMO crop, grown in size to unnatural proportions.

In stark contrast to virtually everything else out there, Deep88’s Black Album can only be described as small, but perfectly formed. Listening to this record is a refreshingly intimate experience. There’s no artificial widening of the stereo field or artificial polish, just simple, stripped down musical compositions. Without a plethora of on effects to lean on, every musical part has to be perfectly crafted and play its role effectively. Nothing is surplus to requirement here: a place for everything and everything in its place.

I must clarify here that this music is anything but (that dreaded word) “minimal”; it’s brimming with chords, melody and old-school emotion. It feels human. Although I’d recommend enjoying the album from start to finish, “Rotation” and “Schlagsahne” are particular highlights, with their charming, almost naive musicality set upon vintage, analogue-sounding beats. Deep88 is a producer who provides proof of the old saying, that (even in dance music) the old ways are best.

Out: Forthcoming in April.


Published first in 5 Mag Issue #128, featuring Chicago Skyway, the Euro-Disco of Voyage, Getting Started in Vinyl, Ortella, Moppy & more. Become a member of 5 Magazine for First & Full access to everything House Music.