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Audio Asia: Dave Aju offers minimal masterclass on Mule Musiq

Outstanding three-track EP from the always on-point Japanese label


  • Patrizio Cavaliere
  • 5 March 2020
Audio Asia: Dave Aju offers minimal masterclass on Mule Musiq

Title: Ciao Sun
Artist: Dave Aju
Label: Mule Musiq Japan
Release: Out now

As our recent feature on record labels operating out of Asia made abundantly clear, this region is not only brimming with talented producers, but also boasts a healthy share of keen-eared A&R departments.

One of the undisputed favourites from the list was Tokyo's Mule Musiq, a label that has been publishing a steady stream of dependable sounds for over 15 years, with a back catalogue that reaches well into the two hundreds. Artists as varied as Henrik Schwarz, Rub N Tug, Fred P, Raoul K, Force Of Nature, Lord Of The Isles, and Kuniyuki have contributed to their fine output.

Following on from his LP on Mule at the tail end of last year, celebrated Californian artist Dave Aju returns with a quirky three-tracker that typifies his worldly and idiosyncratic sound. With influences that extend far beyond dance confines, Dave (real name Marc David Barrite) summons inspiration from an immersive Jazz upbringing to inform his productions, where he's successfully journeyed into realms of hip hop, neo-soul, Latin house and post-rock.

Here, the record pulses with the percussive beats and wacky stabs of opener 'Go!', and switches up the rhythm with the stuttered breaks of moody title track 'Ciao Sun'.

Our pick from a cultured release is 'Glendale Blvd Boogie'. Sub-heavy bass rolls as the driving groove is bought to life by a freakish staccato synth line. The track is minimal but layered and impeccably constructed.

Sonically immaculate dance music of the highest caliber, and an excellent addition to the ever-growing Mule roster.

Dave Aju 'Ciao Sun' is out now on Mule Musiq. You can listen and buy it here