- Uplifting house music straight outta Detroit.
- Waajeed, AKA Robert O'Bryant, is one of those Motor City producers who effortlessly switches between house and hip-hop. Like his close peer Andrés, O'Bryant came up alongside J Dilla and perfected the late legend's wonky, warm production style before moving towards the dance floor. Mother, his Planet E debut, takes a classic rap theme—a tribute to moms—and flips it into a modern house classic.
I first heard "Mother" as the centerpiece of Alexander Nut's RA podcast. I was happy to find the tune, which features Steffanie Christi'an's soaring vocals, was Waajeed's. After promising EPs like Shango, this is the next-level Waajeed cut I'd been waiting for. An uplifting progression unfolds first on synth, then piano, supplementing a propulsive stab that nods to Planet E's illustrious past as an incubator of the second wave Detroit sound. O'Bryant cleverly loops Christi'an's voice—"say I... say I just want"—into a percussive element, adding an sense of restraint to the melodic Detroit house cut.
"Frances" is the other memorable track. It builds on the idea behind "Better Late Than Never" from the Shango EP, subtly combining the broken percussive feel that's captured the Benji B crowd with epic arps à la Octave One's "Black Water." It's Waajeed's best dance record, standing alongside EPs from Jon Dixon and Eduardo De La Calle as evidence of a Planet E resurgence. O'Bryant also succeeds in his primary objective—making his momma proud.
A1 Mother feat. Steffanie Christi'an
A2 Earth feat. Blaktony