The maverick maestro from the Bay Dave Aju is back with his Circus family here with an incredible new release. Based on stripped-down hardware sessions rocking just a Roland TR-909 and SH-101, Aju once again proves that no sound set need be limited in itself and along with the addition of one microphone for his inimitable soulful voice, creates one of his strongest and most imaginative releases to date, the 10101 EP.
A multiple homage to the 101 freeway that spans his native Golden State and the numeric classic analog boxes used vs digital binary to process them, the four rich tracks offer the best of both worlds and cover all the bases of Mr Aju’s musical multiverse. “Low Dive” starts things on a deep heads-down dance floor tip where rising synth lines soar over a blast of shuffling drums and percussion for a rock-solid DJs delight. “Always Never” comes next with pure Aju magic, equal parts song and track, an ear worm of a chorus, and full of sunny West Coast electro influences all the way through.
On the flip “Sides” may very well be one of Aju’s most intense transmissions ever, with a sublime and seemingly endless build-up of dark pads, driving, shifting rhythms, and voodoo vocals that will detonate many a peak-hour sound system guaranteed. Aju then tastefully finishes with the cool psychedelic mid-tempo bump of “Tell Her Why” which harks back to his hip-hop roots and wraps up the vibe and elements of the whole EP perfectly. Welcome back with a bang brother Aju!