The Witching Hour: Mecca:83 Goes Late Night with ‘Midnight Radio’

Chris Daly breaks down Mecca:83's latest record, 'Midnight Radio.'
By    July 2, 2018

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Chris Daly has 95 radios.

I’m not sure who, if anyone, regularly listens to terrestrial radio anymore, but one of the great, small joys of life is stumbling upon a DJ at a tiny station in the middle of nowhere, unbidden to larger corporate interests, getting his or her groove on simply for the love of the music. Whether it’s college radio or an AM channel whose overnight director simply has already given all the fucks he cares to and decides its time to unfurl that freak flag for the listeners, this is where the true heads know that you’re going to hear something new and different and quite probably better than anything ever played on Gator and the Mad Man (your local FM disc jockey sobriquets may vary). If someone could somehow capture that same sense of late night, free form funkery, well, that would be audio gold, wouldn’t it?

While he isn’t Alchemist, England’s Mecca:83 transmutes transmissions nonetheless on his latest, Midnight Radio EP, out now on Sweden’s Ninetofive Records. For those unfamiliar with the beat maestro, he is the master of the after after-party groove, luxuriating in late night jams of the most syrupy nature. As the title implies, Midnight Radio is just that—a half dozen tracks to help get you through the witching hour.

Whether its the horn on opener “Midnight,” the groovalicious guitar on “CheckItOut,” or the crickets and chopped vocals on “Awake,” Mecca:83 knows how to get the nighttime juices flowing. With guest appearances by beat supremo K, Le Maestro of Street Corner Music and brothermartino of Italian funk group, The Mixtapers, Midnight Radio ranks among Mecca:83’s haziest finery with a twilight bent.

The producer himself recently tweeted, “The jury’s still out on whether my self criticism is a good or bad thing. I ‘finished’ Midnight Radio three times before letting it loose…not a single track from the original ‘final’ EP is on the actual release.” Well, the jury has since returned, and unlike a lot of recent SCOTUS decisions, jazzy funk justice has been served. Midnight Radio is a guilty pleasure, indeed.

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