mecca:83 – sketchbook pieces [download]

Mecca:83 - Sketchbook Pieces coverIsn’t that nice? After finishing his work on the Alexis Davis project, British producer Evan Jones a.k.a. Rise a.k.a. Mecca:83 brings you a free compilation of tracks he has put on the web over the last year or so. That’s not nice, it’s freakin’ awesome!


Why is it awesome? 1. It’s free, c’mon you love that. 2. It’s music, not just looped beats. And last but not least 3. He is one damn skilled musician. Sampling, composition, arrangement, instrumentalism, drumsequencing, production, he does it all, and all in a way that feels sweet to your ears. Jazz-Hop, Nu-Soul, Instrumental Hip-Hop, you can call it whatever you want, in the end it’s just good music. He’s got his own style, he’s paying respect, and he seems like a production beast judging by the stuff he’s been putting out in the last couple of years.


Ok it might sound like I’m trying to get on someone’s good side now, but it simply is good music in every single way. The combination of sampled bits with the (re)played elements is just so slick that anyone who is making music themselves can’t get around that. And doing that while retaining a loop-based feel in the background, while putting so much variations in the arrangement makes it even hotter.


Back to the music, what are we getting out of “Sketchbook Pieces”? Basically everything you should get from a hip hop based producer: solo instrumentals, collaborations with vocalists and other artists, tracks with raps and a couple of remixes. Aura feat. Bobby Blunt is a sweet nu-soul track celebrating life & love, followed by the atmospheric and musical Midnight Kids (feat Kan Sano x Buscrates 16bit Ensemble). The next instrumental track Golden is a perfect follow-up, since it feels like the previous track but a little stripped down. Before all these soothing tracks get too much, a remix of Booda French x Von Pea (of Tanya Morgan)’s Full Time will spark your ears to listen to some decent lyrics.


While we’re already in switch-up mode, One For Irvine brings together the worlds of Rise and Jesse Futerman on a piano-driven and bareback drum track. Ofcourse an Alexis Davis production can’t be missed, so The Lift is nicely preparing us for the 4 instrumentals that are coming up. Chapter 2 is a down-to earth abstract instrumental, which switches into a string-driven interlude halfway through. That last part is beautiful to listen to in itself, but heads will definitely appreciate it a little bit more for the way he flipped that sample (and I’m really hating myself for not instantly remembering what the original is). Love Story is a signature ’83 beat, which also flips into sample cuts in the end. Jay’s Theme is a Dilla tribute, ’nuff said.


Almost reaching the end, Head West once more drops the standard kick-snare drumsequence for a more downtempo like kit, over which lush pads and synths create a warm soundscape. Swilkqa (feat Somepling) combines a thin drum-break with a clear but full cut-up jazz guitar sample, and is definitely the most looped-up track on the release. As a bonus the last track is a short recap of Nas’ One Love, perfectly paying tribute to the beats of yore.


“Sketchbook Pieces” is a little gem which shines brighter because you’re getting it for free, plus you’re being exposed to a couple of artists you might not know yet. Download the 30min release here (Name Your Price), and get in touch with Mecca:83 through Facebook and Twitter. Support the Solar Sounds y’all!