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MAX ESSA

A year after his debut outing on the label, Max Essa makes a welcome return to Hell Yeah with the "Han zon Roc EP", a horizontal triptych boasting more of his impossibly laidback offerings.
Essa is of course the long time UK talent whose releases on labels like Aficionado, Music for Dreams, and his own Jansen Jardin have cemented his place in the Balearic mafia. 
Opener 'Han zon Roc (Midori Coup)' is an epic 12 minute adventure that slowly awakens your spirit with new age guitar plucks and heavenly ambience before organic drums slowly being to drift into earshot. They grow ever larger as synths start to spray about the mix, hand drums pitter patter and big chords bring the soul-shine. It's like the soundtrack to an afternoon boat party all condensed into one brilliant cut.
‘How You Showed Me Everything' then gets super chill with lazy drum tumbles, bendy guitar lines and scattered hits. Withering cosmic chords colour the airwaves and its a track that will slow your heartbeat to nothing.
Last of all, 'Rain Bird's Alfalfa Jam' is a analogue drum work out with early 90s hip hop influences and diving basslines. It's light and airy, nimble and playful and of course filled with the sort of tropical rays that make all of Essa works so brilliantly escapist.


STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Extending the usual Hell Yeah hospitality and warmth, label boss Peedoo once again coaxes the very best out of man in Japan Max Essa, who raises the bar with his second release on the label. Simple and subtle rhythms play freely beneath the endless string of irresistible melodies, while the expansive arrangements conjure stunning visions of coastal vistas. Max Essa, at his best on one of the best labels around - class!

Lanterns is a brand new album from the Japanese based producer & DJ Max Essa, and his first release on Bager's Music For Dreams label. Max Essa has been active as a DJ and producer since the early 90s, initially releasing music on labels such as Warp Records and Paper Recordings and DJing alongside the infamous D.i.Y Sound System. His recent work, for labels like Is It Balearic? Recordings, has been playlisted by the likes of Andrew Weatherall and the late David Mancuso, gaining him a devoted following around the world.

2015 saw his first release with a major label in the shape of the "Vacations Never Taken" CD for Victor Entertainment (Japan). The same year also found him completing another round of world-wide DJ bookings in Brazil, Indonesia, and Vietnam to name but a few. 2018 sees Max continuing his hectic weekly DJ schedule in Tokyo as well as playing the length and breadth of Japan from Sapporo to Okinawa, and releases are scheduled this year for Hell Yeah!, Music For Dreams, Palms & Charms, and Aficionado.


STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Old fave Max Essa takes a languid and thoughtful through electronic, mostly piano-driven and really quite ambient Balearica... the perfect hammock-resting, waves-lapping-at-the-shoreline soundtracking one could wish for.

Kito Jempere

Sea Monster Remixes Part 2 - Inc. Jimi Tenor / Miskotom / Max Essa Remixes

Hell Yeah keep the killers coming, via a weighty 12" featuring fresh interpretaions of Kito Jempere's ace "Sea Monsters" album last year. This second batch of reworks sees accomplished musician Jimi Tenor, Miskotom and Max Essa work their magic before a 7", also taken from the album, lands later in summer.
Kicking the party off we have legndary Finnish musician Jimi Tenor, a man who has released on Warp, collaborated with Tony Allen and occasionally plays sax with Kito Jempere Band at live gigs. He flips "Puzzled" into five minutes of stripped back and moody electronics with plenty of his own flute frolicks. Busted drum sounds, spooky sci-fi synths and scattered hits make it woozy late night transmission that is utterly absorbing. If you've kept an ear on the sounds coming out of Pleasure Unit and Balearic, you'll already be acquainted with Lithuanian outfit Miskotom. Here the husband and wife duoreimagine "Ampa" as a beatdown bit of deep house with trudging drums staying low and shimmering synths drifting out in all directions. Crunchy hits bring a subtle sense of funk and reverb drenched vocals bring a heavenly feel to the soul drenched grooves and summery keys.
Then comes Max Essa, the Japan based Brit who is a regular on Hell Yeah as well as the likes of Is It Balearic? and Aficionado. His first remix is a huge one that is sure to soundtrack many a boat party this summer. It's a gorgeous rework of 'Ampa' that puts achingly blissful vocals front and centre as low slung bass and slowly turning drums sink you into a pan-pipe laced reverie. Secondly, Essa offers a Dub Reprise that removes the vocals and places all the focus on his churning drums and new age grooves. 

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: There's a lot to love about this latest Hell Yeah release, not least Max Essa's supremely summery remix and audacious dub reprise. Elsewhere Miskotom turn Kito Jempere's OG into a blissful Balearic house heater, while Jimi Tenor trips "Puzzled" into a fractal blast of crepuscular electronics.

Long time Is It Balearic artist Max Essa returns with two warm weather bombs. First up is "Mekko Sekko", an early evening shuffler full of Max's trademark playful sounds subtly charming the most horizontal listener onto the dancefloor. Dreamy and soaked in kaleidoscoping oil lamps, this is a beautiful slice of psychedelic disco. Craig Bratley injects a touch of bass bump into the track, also adding some lush gated vox (al la Holy Ghost Inc.). The B-side is the stand alone track "Aestival", a beautifully evocative journey from chilled out bliss to chuggy dancefloor grooving done with the deft of hand that graces such of Essa's output. It's great to have him back!

Max Essa

Gold Themes From The Hood, The Cad & The Lovely EP

Keeping their catalogue fresh, fierce and free from any stylistic ties, Hell Yeah follow the star-crossed house of Verdo and acid-laced cosmic of Quiroga with a Mediterranean masterpiece from expert ex-pat Max Essa. Label head Sun Marco (you heard it here first) describes this peaceful platter as the most Balearic record he's ever released, though it could well be the most Balearic record anyone's ever released. For starters, the A-side features a White Isle odyssey in four parts, while the flip buys us a drink at a rundown beach bar before inviting us for a walk down the coast.
After bonding over a shared love of literature and sake, Marco made his play for Essa, encouraging the international man of mastery to create his finest work for the Italian label. Stretching across the A-side with a sunkissed contentment, the ambitious and expressive "Themes From The Hood, The Cad & The Lovely" conjures images of lapping waves and swaying trees, a coastal coda to the bliss and breeze of a lazy summer day. Stately and serene, the track glides through eleven minutes of symphonic synthwork, fragile piano and eastern melodies - a dreamy vignette viewed through the blur of heat haze. It feels like falling in love every time you hear it.
On the B1, "Saguaro" crystallizes everything excellent about a Max Essa production into one perfect serving of circular sequences, languid bass and East Asian tonality. Genki but not quite kawai, this comforting combination rolls along at a relaxed pace, bathing in the reflected beauty of the sun on the sea. Finally we drift into a dreamstate to the horizontal majesty of "Buran Chime", a song for siestas and the 'Subtle Body'. Phasing waveforms murmur like distant air traffic, naive percussion keeps a languorous rhythm and expansive pads summon the poolside peace of a permanent vacation. As that immersive soundscape eases us out of our everyday worries, cool cor anglais and FM brass bring a smile to our sunblushed faces. It's a treasure.


STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Max Essa lands on the mighty Hell Yeah with his finest work to date. The perfect marriage of ambition and execution, the EP offers all the comforts of the coast without the price of the air fare. As Balearic as it gets and a thing of true beauty, this is music to be cherished.


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