BACK IN 2017, MAKAYA MCCRAVEN WAS RECORDING MATERIAL FOR HIS 2018 OPUS Universal Beings, visiting the four cities and playing with the local musicians that ended up making the rich, diverse, and groundbreaking album. While spending three days in London he connected with first time collaborators Theon Cross, Nubya Garcia, Joe Armon-Jones, Soweto Kinch, Ashley Henry, Daniel Casimir and Kamaal Williams, and in addition to the Universal Beings sessions, did two improvised performances in a showcase called CHICAGOxLONDON. The following Sunday five producers (LeFtO, Ben LaMar Gay, Quiet Dawn, Earl Jeffers and Don Leisure) were invited to participate in a live-beat making session, where they did live remixes of the recordings from Makaya & co's CHICAGOxLONDON performance. Then, over the ensuing months, Makaya meticulously returned to those sessions, and - as has become his modus operandi - chopped everything up and re-composed the tunes into two continuous side suites, presented here on vinyl after increased demand for a physical release. The album is absolute madness in the best possible ways. It's gritty, futuristic, spontaneous, and grooves HARD. Almost impossible to play only once, you'll be keeping this album on repeat for weeks and months to come. To take such organic music and put it through the DAW treatment and STILL have it sound organic is a monstrous feat, but Makaya makes it seem effortless. It's like the stories you read of Dilla hearing a sample and then flipping it in an almost impossible way where it feels as if that's how the song originally goes. Makaya's gone places and still has so far to go. 14 tracks in all, packaged in a heavyweight matte jacket with printed OBI strip and 2-sided IARC-TRC patterned inner sleeve. Recommended.
- packaged in heavyweight matte jacket
- printed insert
- obi strip
- patterned inner sleeve
- music label: International Anthem Recording Company 2018
reviewed by Ralphy Corduroy 3/2019