From Asia and Europe to the Americas and Oceania, Singapore-based record label Darker Than Wax impeccable track record for signing emerging musicians around the globe is flawless. With releases from acclaimed talent such as Ta-ku, Maxx Mortimer, Go Yama and many other under their belts, DTW's taste and work ethic has certainly allowed the imprint to flourish in recent times.
In keeping with that momentum, their latest addition is a similarly unheralded gem hailing from Istanbul named Kerem Akdag. A multi-talented artist, Kerem actually began his musical career as a funk and blues drummer before evolving into a soul, hip-hop and house producer as a late teen.
His debut EP A Good Play, released in 2013 on London-based imprint Apparel Music, was a revelatory record that impressed critics and received support from luminaries as Osunlade, Josh Wink, Detroit Swindle and Lefto. Subsequently, Kerem has gone from strength to strength in recent years, cementing his name as one of the freshest active beatsmiths out there with a bevy of quality releases.
His latest comes in the form of a remarkable EP on DTW called Loungin' - a four-track statement that deftly balances jazz, funk, soul, Afro percussion and broken beat upon Kerem's refined hip-hop influenced touch. Smooth and low-slung lead single 'Steppin Out', even received a worldwide premiere through the great Gilles Peterson last week.
We recently caught up with “Turkey’s most soulful” to learn more about Kerem Akdag's astonishing debut on Darker Than Wax.
"There is this “rush” feeling in this that made me wanna say I wanna get there, where ever it was that I have dreamed at that moment - and left it like that."
"Chopped the drums from a different session, played around like I was gonna dump it after, so I got silly and added some funny melodies but it turned out to be something very emotional in my opinion."
"This is full on chaos to me as much as it has those sweet chords and the happy kinda melody to it. I find the beat very stressed out and never fitting in, always changing when about to lock on to a pattern. That's the inconsistency that reflects to you through this city."
Literally I made this one when our house was being painted, watching the guy painting the edges made me really feel like creating something because he made it look so easy but I knew it wasn’t. So I wanted to make something that sounds just like that."
Kerem Akdag's Loungin' is now available through Darker Than Wax.