Skip to main content

Featured Post

How To Convert Image To Word On Android Phones

How to Convert Image to Word onAndroid PhonesLong gone are the times where the only way to digitize something written on paper was to retype it on a computer. That was a really painful and time-consuming process. 
Just imagine students with hundreds of notes and study materials trying to digitize them all. Or stay at home moms trying to digitize their recipes so they wouldn't have them laying around the kitchen in a paper form. You could also imagine the struggle of a businessman trying to digitize tons of reports or other financial documents.



Makaya McCraven - Universal Beings Music Album Reviews

The jazz drummer and producer’s hypnotic double album is culled from a year’s worth of gig tapes that he’s layered and spliced together into something wholly new and radically communal.

In the final moments of Universal Beings—at the end of a radiant hour and a half of polymorphic pulse and atmospheric shimmer—Makaya McCraven breaks a blissful silence with a practical question. “You guys got all that?” he asks, presumably addressing the mobile recording crew set up in a garage behind a house in Los Angeles.

McCraven, a drummer and producer with an alchemist’s touch, and Jeff Parker, a guitarist possessed of similar magic, have just glided through the impromptu dreamscape that will provide this album with a title track. They’re crowded into that garage with a handful of peers, including saxophonist Josh Johnson and violinist Miguel Atwood-Ferguson. At face value, McCraven’s question feels like routine studio patter. By including it on the album, he extends his check-in to the listener, with a tone at once solicitous and roguish. You guys got all that?

There’s a lot to unpack in Universal Beings, the latest and most deeply assured in a series of releases under the rubric McCraven likes to call “organic beat music.” Recorded not only in Los Angeles but also in New York, Chicago, and London—four metro areas shaping the contour of improvised music, now as ever—the album transmits at a coolly utopian frequency. Informed by ambient and hip-hop protocols as well as state-of-the-art jazz hyperfluency, it suggests both the spark of discovery and the sheen of an obsessively sculptured art object.

McCraven, who has spent the last decade in Chicago, began developing this model several years ago. His second album—In the Moment, released on International Anthem in 2015—was its first proper manifestation. A hypnotic double album culled from a year’s worth of gig tapes, it took shape through a painstaking process of digital looping, layering and splicing, like an Ableton software-enabled successor to Teo Macero’s machinations with Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew.

There’s an ascendant generation of jazz drummers who understand hip-hop production from the inside, and have been working to melt the edges. Chris Dave, a D’Angelo confrere and emeritus member of the Robert Glasper Experiment, recently released a long-awaited album with his group the Drumhedz. Karriem Riggins has put out two albums of beat-driven instrumentals, including last year’s Headnod Suite; he’s a member of August Greene, alongside Glasper and Common. A brilliant array of other figures—from Eric Harland to Justin Brown to Jamire Williams to Louis Cole—marks this multiphase skillset as not just a vogue style but a new reality.

What sets McCraven apart is twofold. For one thing, he builds his tracks on the basis of live performance, typically with a bare minimum of premeditated music. In the Moment established this working method, which yielded two subsequent mixtapes: Highly Rare, in 2017, and Where We Come From (CHICAGOxLONDON Mixtape), earlier this year. The spontaneous-composition mode gives McCraven a wealth of raw material to work with, including the dimensions of a room. One reason these tracks never feel cold or sterile is because they exude a sense of place.

Which leads us to McCraven’s second insight: the lasting power of communion. Producing tracks, making beats—it can often be the most insular form of music-making, no more tactile or social than writing code. But the collaborative energies on Universal Beings are pervasive and tangible. Taking in this music, you get the impression that every contributor has a stake in the outcome, post-production tinkering or no. And with that stake comes a tacit understanding: This music subsumes even the boldest solo heroics within a collectivist whole.

McCraven convened a different crew in each of his four host cities, so it isn’t just the environs that change from one section to the next. (In the deluxe double-vinyl release, each session takes up one side of an LP: New York on side 1, Chicago on side 2, then London and L.A.) The shift from one locale to the next is subtle, because of a certain unity of purpose—and, surely, the careful work of streamlining all of this material into a coherent form.

The New York crew, recorded in Ridgewood, Queens last summer, features harpist Brandee Younger, cellist Tomeka Reid, vibraphonist Joel Ross, and bassist Dezron Douglas. On a track called “Young Genius,” they begin with the looking-through-a-smudged-glass feeling of a vintage J Dilla track, all loopy rhythm and harp twinkle, before the beat snaps into focus. Then, suddenly, McCraven and Douglas are swinging à la Elvin Jones and Jimmy Garrison, setting up one of the album’s few conventional solo turns, by Ross. It’s as if an entire range of rhythmic approaches has been compressed into a slippery five and a half minutes.

A few other pieces on the album feel similarly packed with incident. “Suite Haus,” from the London session, has Nubya Garcia on tenor saxophone, Ashley Henry on Fender Rhodes, and Daniel Casimir on bass. It feels like a fully formed composition, with an arc and mood and a set of motifs. As the title implies, it also gestures toward house music, with McCraven’s beat shapeshifting in subtle yet perceptible ways. Garcia is obviously deep in her element here, owning the track without ever pushing into the red.

Her fellow British tenor hero, Shabaka Hutchings, turns up on the Chicago side, alongside Tomeka Reid, and bassist Junius Paul. The scrappiest and most cathartic of the four sessions, it includes some flamethrower-expressive Hutchings in the middle of “Prosperity’s Fear,” the stretch on the album that veers closest to freeform abstraction. But this unit also foregrounds groove: “Inner Flight” serves notice that McCraven draws rhythmic mojo from Tony Allen as well as Tony Williams. And the concussive tumble of “Atlantic Black” maintains its sense of form largely because of Reid, one of this album’s MVPs.

This shouldn’t need to be said, but it probably does: Every one of McCraven’s bands finds a central place for a woman. This is notable mainly in light of a contemporary scene—at the convergence of jazz, R&B and hip-hop—that can still so often resemble a boy’s club. One track from the L.A. session, “Butterss’s,” is a showcase for bassist Anna Butterss, who exerts her authority from the ground up and the inside, rather than up top or out front.

That inner-workings ideal is central to any understanding of McCraven’s larger project, and one reason Universal Beings is likely to make more intuitive sense to a crate-digger than to a jazz loyalist. The tracks on this album coalesce and morph, more than they progress. They get more traction from a good drone than from an elegant harmonic resolution. There’s a process of real-time exchange and dynamic micro-attunement that only jazz musicians can achieve, but not many of the cathartic peaks you might expect from a jazz performance. What matters is a vibe.

And to that end, the occasional interpolation of musician banter feels deeper than filler. On “Brighter Days Beginning,” the penultimate track, McCraven and his L.A. cohort spend some time trading philosophical reflections—about the responsibility of the individual in a society, and the power of a collective, and the corrupting influence of corporate media. “We’re universal beings,” someone says, sparking appreciative laughter. It’s a quip with high-minded connotations, and McCraven makes sure the rest of the album sets it up as dawning truth.

View the original article here


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular posts from this blog

Nokia 8 Sirocco Review: Hands-on

Nokia 8 Sirocco Review: Hands-on

There’s something of a lack of new flagship smartphones at MWC 2018 but Nokia has plenty of new devices to feast your eyes on, including a sleek handset to rival the Galaxy S9. Here’s our Nokia 8 Sirocco hands-on review.
You would assume that Nokia’s new flagship would be one of the biggest smartphones (in terms of importance) to be unveiled at MWC but Huawei and LG have delayed their respective 2018 devices. So it’s a case of Nokia vs Samsung vs Sony.
Although a Nokia 9 was a possibility, the firm has actually announced the Nokia 8 Sirocco which is quite a radical phone for HMD – the company with the rights to the Nokia brand. For now, this is the Nokia 9.

Nokia 6 (2018) UK Release Date & Specifications

Nokia 6 (2018) UK Release Date & Specifications
It's easy to forget that the Nokia 6 is a year old, given that it didn't make its way to the UK until August, but it was actually unveiled much earlier in January 2017. The company has in January 2018 announced an update to the original smartphone, with the 2018 model now official.
Currently China-only, the new Nokia 6 will also become available in Europe in April, priced at 279€ (around £245).

Nokia 8110 4G Review: Hands-on

Nokia 8110 4G Review: Hands-on MWC might usually be about smartphones and other high-end gadgets but a feature phone has caused quite a big of hype. HMD has re-launched the Nokia phone seen in The Matrix. Here we go hands-on with the Nokia 8110 4G. 
Let’s face it, sometimes old things are cooler than new one and although the Nokia 8110 4G is technically a new phone, it’s another example of the firm bringing back a classic.
Following the Nokia 3310, this is the second ‘retro classic reloaded’ and although it’s been 22 years, the Nokia 8110 is back.

Nokia 7 Plus Confirmed: Release Date, Price & Specification

Nokia 7 Plus Confirmed: Release Date, Price & Specification
Nokia has announced its Nokia 7 Plus at MWC 2018, a mid-range Android phone that will go on sale in April at €399 (around £350).
A larger version of the China-only Nokia 7, the Nokia 7 Plus features an upgraded Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 6in full-HD+ 18:9 display primed for entertainment.

Samsung Galaxy S9 vs Nokia 8 Sirocco

Samsung Galaxy S9 vs Nokia 8 Sirocco
Two of the most anticipated smartphone releases of 2018 have now arrived in the form of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and the Nokia 8 Sirocco. So, how do these premium phones stack up against each other, and which one should you pick when upgrade time comes around?
Let's dive in.

Like Fan Page