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Waajeed, 'Remember'

Waajeed's "Remember," the final track off his newest album Memoirs of Hi-Tech Jazz, has something for everyone: the jazz head, the dance-music enthusiast and the casual listener alike. For Waajeed, that's the point: As a beatmaker with roots in hip-hop (as a founding member of Slum Village), R&B, house and techno, the artist is no stranger to musical fluidity. On "Remember," the Detroit-born producer and DJ, born Robert O'Bryant, affirms the relationship between genres often kept apart by emphasizing their connective feeling: freedom.

Piano chords and repetitive 808 handclaps set the track's stage, anchoring the beat like a metronome before ushering in the sweet sounds of horns. Every time a melody begins to take shape, free-form jazz solos are seamlessly passed around — pulling the listener out of their meditative trance and into the present. Play is the puppet and Waajeed is its master, as he gives structure to electronic grooves and sounds that feel boundless. But "Remember" never forgets to thump its beating pulse, which grows ever stronger even as its notes run off, dimensionless.

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Teresa Xie
Teresa Xie is a reporter who specializes in media and culture writing. She recently graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied political science and cinema. Outside of NPR, her work can be found in Pitchfork, Vox, Teen Vogue, Bloomberg, Stereogum and other outlets.