Out Now: Makaya McCraven – In These Times

Today Chicago-based percussionist, composer and producer Makaya McCraven has released his new album In These Times via XL Recordings / Remote Control Records. Also released today is a music visualizer for ‘So Ubuji,’ the third in a series (‘Seventh String,’ ‘Dream Another’) directed by Nik Arthur, featuring hand-drawn, digital and photographic animations composed and laser-etched into stone in the style of a “zoopraxiscope.” 

In These Times is a collection of polytemporal compositions inspired as much by broader cultural struggles as McCraven’s personal experience as a product of a multinational, working class musician community. It’s the recording that he’s been trying to create for seven plus years, as it’s been consistently in process in the background while he’s put forth a prolific run of releases including: In The Moment (2015), Highly Rare (2017), Where We Come From (2018), Universal Beings (2018), We’re New Again (2020), Universal Beings E&F Sides (2020), and Deciphering the Message (2021).

With contributions from over a dozen musicians and creative partners from his tight-knit circle of collaborators – including Jeff Parker, Junius Paul, Brandee Younger, Joel Ross, and Marquis Hill – the music was recorded in five different studios and four live performance spaces while McCraven engaged in extensive post-production work at home. Featuring orchestral, large ensemble arrangements interwoven with the signature ‘organic beat music’ sound that’s become his signature, the album is an evolution and a milestone for McCraven, the producer. But moreover, it’s the strongest and clearest statement we’ve yet to hear from McCraven, the composer.

Stream / purchase In These Times here.

Related Articles