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​ Max Essa blissfully re-imagines Arno E. Mathieu's 'Temps Libre'

Gorgeously introspective moves from the Yokohama-based production don

  • Patrizio Cavaliere
  • 26 July 2022
​ Max Essa blissfully re-imagines Arno E. Mathieu's 'Temps Libre'

Yokohama-based maestro Max Essa is back with his latest sonic meditations, turning in a celestial remix of 'Temps Libre' by French producer, Arno E. Mathieu.

DJ, producer and musician Max Essa has garnered an esteemed reputation across the global Balearic community thanks to his pristine productions and far-reaching DJ sets. Having relocated to Japan from the UK decades ago, he's a key figure in Tokyo's esoteric underground, regularly bringing his immersive sound to the capital's off-beat bars and clubs. Long-serving artist Arno E. Mathieu, meanwhile, is perhaps best-known for his deep house-centred productions, having released under various guises on some of the scene's most revered labels – including Sacred Rhythm, Deeply Rooted, and his own Clima imprint.

'Temps Libre' arrives on benchmark German label Compost as part of Arno's ongoing 'Contemplation' collection. As both the title (French for 'free time') and the series name suggest, the reflective music is perfectly pitched for blissed-out moments and respite from the hubbub of modern living. The gorgeous original sees lush instrumentation harmonically glide over sparse percussion, while US producer Woolfy gently nudges the tempo on his hyper-atmospheric revision. Staying true to the dreamy intention of the original, Max Essa makes use of the key instrumentation while layering delicate overdubs, harmonic guitar licks, rolling percussion and full-bodied bass. Imbuing the track with a gently tropical essence, his beautifully balanced version overflows with emotion, adding to his already brimming sundown-ready archives.

Listen to Max Essa's mix here:

Arno E. Mathieu 'Tempo Libre' is out now on Compost, you can buy it here

Patrizio Cavaliere is Mixmag Asia's Music Editor. Follow him on Instagram