Every weekend we curate 10 tracks from one instrumental hip-hop producer to try to capture his or her essence. This can be a challenging task, but it may have never been more challenging than this weekend as we feature the music of Manchester-based producer Evan Jones aka Mecca:83. His catalog is vast, and virtually every cut is worthy of a deep listen. Plus, music from his jazz alias just became available for streaming for the first time. And just earlier today he debuted a new four track EP, Quiet Dawn. Midnight, dawn and times of day are motifs throughout the producer’s catalog.
Mecca’s music has been supported by Soulection and the legendary curator Giles Peterson. He’s collaborated with dozens of influential producers including Tom Misch, Grap Luva, and Es-K, and instrumentalists like pianist Kazumi Kaneda and trumpet player Octavio Santos. In addition to the label he’s favored most recently, NINETOFIVE Worldwide Beatmakers, he has compilation credits with Inner Ocean Records, Stay Cool, Chillhop Music, and more. He released his first project as Mecca:83 in 2010, and hasn’t stopped grinding since, infusing jazz and pure spirit into boom-bap beats that frequently include live instrumentation.
The playlist kicks off with a Malcolm X sample, which is an appropriate representation of the righteousness and spiritual depth of Mecca’s output. The sample comes from Rise, Mecca’s jazz alias (additional aliases include REdefinition and Alexis Davis). He first began producing as Rise in 2008, and for the first time, jewels from this era are now available to stream through The Rise Collection: 2008-2018 thanks to NINETOFIVE. Here’s some words from the man himself about this project.
If you've only been following me since the "Mecca:83" era you might not be familiar with the spiritual jazz side of my output under the name Rise. From 2008 to 2018 - Rise was my alias for creating instrumental music inspired by the likes of Pharoah Sanders, Alice Coltrane, Sun Ra and the more Spiritual side of Jazz Music in the late 60s/early 70s: an era I hold dear to my heart. "A Rise collection" compiles 10 tracks from 2008-2018 that I think best capture the essence of the Rise sound. Expect to hear multi-layered percussion work outs, ample saxophone solos and spiritual vibes a plenty.
We won’t say more about Mecca’s music - it speaks for itself. We will say this; If there was just one producer whose music encapsulates this moment in time and musical space, this decade of instrumental hip-hop (and for the record, there are many), it might be Mecca:83.