Aquanote is the solo project of studio hand and expressive songwriter Gabriel René. The son of a West Coast jazzman, René listened to much jazz-funk and soul while growing up. His first direct musical experience came in 1995, when he formed Soulstice (with Andy Caldwell), a San Francisco band that blended programmed house with the live feel of acid jazz. The group released an album on the Om label (Illusion), and René began writing songs for a solo project. He was then signed to the like-minded label Naked Music, which specializes in a fusion of jazz, funk, and house.