International Anthem Recording Company ‎

Makaya McCraven – Highly Rare


International Anthem Recording Company ‎

Makaya McCraven – Highly Rare


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“On one highly rare night in November 2016 Danny's was the place where we invited an "International Anthem All Stars" type of improvising ensemble (Makaya McCraven, Junius Paul, Nick Mazzarella and Ben Lamar Gay) to play in support of DJ sets by LeFtO, who was in transit from Belgium, hitting local spots under the direction of Chicago scene sage King Hippo…

…the sounds the musicians conjured were thick with the bitter cold darkness that hung heavy in the air, punctuated with moments of joyful determination – the kind that can only be accessed when such impending doom triggers passionate adrenalized bursts by creators in survival mode. Cogent as the cultural context of that November night at Danny's is the compositional prowess that Makaya exercised in post to make Highly Rare the impressive final piece it is. Demonstrating a deeply attuned development of the production approach he forayed in the creation of his 2015 breakout In The Moment, Makaya again took stereo mixes of the full band improvisations into his lab to edit, loop, layer and arrange the tracks, tediously constructing a vivid new slate of sounds that tell an infinitely more colorful tale than the straight takes ever could. The rough and raw edges of low fidelity cassette recording combine with the elegance and wit of Makaya McCraven's production touch to make Highly Rare a highly relevant artifact in the ever-unfolding history of Chicago style creative music.” - Bandcamp

“Highly Rare finds a dark aisle between free jazz and hip-hop and traverses it restlessly, breaking down the division between the two forms. On “Above & Beyond,” the record’s foremost feet-mover, Nick Mazzarella’s alto sax jumps between precisely inflected phrases and throaty wails into the void. The next track, “Venus Rising,” begins with McCraven’s skittering drumbeat quietly underscoring bleary-eyed groans from Mazzarella’s sax and Ben LaMar Gay’s cornet—then slowly wakes up, hoists itself up via Junius Paul’s bass, and snowballs into anxious chaos until the room spins. McCraven’s touch isn’t limited to his arrangements, as he loops and shifts pieces around; it’s also audible in the finishing touches he puts on these sounds. His window-rattling beats sound magnetically attracted to the lo-fi nakedness layered on top of them.” – Pitchfork

Item description:        


Makaya McCraven


Highly Rare


International Anthem Recording Company ‎


Vinyl, LP



Release Date:

17th Nov 2017





Catalog No: