‘The Midnight Hour’ featuring a 9-piece brass and string section:
When two of hip-hop’s most accomplished composers get together to make an album you know the results are going to be special. Ali Shaheed Muhammed (of A Tribe Called Quest) & Adrian Younge(Delfonics, Ghostface Killah, Kendrick Lamar) began their work together in 2013 on the critically acclaimed Souls of Mischief album There Is Only Now. The Midnight Hour is the duo’s long awaited debut album and it showcases their songwriting ability like never before.
The Midnight Hour is black excellence: an ode to the cultural sophistication that the Harlem Renaissance established for its people. The Midnight Hour is comprised of Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Adrian Younge, alongside a tight rhythm section and a full orchestra. The album has features from some of the most celebrated names in contemporary hip-hop and R&B including Luther Vandross , CeeLo Green, Raphael Saadiq, Marsha Ambrosius, Bilal, Eryn Allen Kane, Karolina, Questlove and more.
Adrian and Ali began working on this album back in 2013, but put the project aside as they would score the hit Netflix series Marvel’s Luke Cage. The Midnight Hour is a soul/jazz/hip-hop album which continues the conversations started by yesterday’s jazz and funk pioneers; those that created the bedrock of samples for hip-hop producers in the 80s/90s. The Midnight Hour is sophisticated hip-hop that fans will enjoy, capturing their jazz rhythm section, and a full orchestra, to analog tape.
One of the seminal compositions, “Questions,” originally began as an unfinished Midnight Hour demo with CeeLo Green. However, Kendrick Lamar heard the track and wanted to sample portions of it for his GRAMMY-winning album To Pimp a Butterfly (the song ultimately made it to Kendrick’s 2016 compilation untitled unmastered. as “untitled 06 | 06.30.2014.”). The full, completed version of “Questions” is now the lead single on The Midnight Hour.
The Midnight Hour bandcamp
Adrian Younge presents Jack Waterson
Jack Waterson is the acid that Adrian never took as a kid. The result, as you’d expect, is both colourful and dark; full of sonic and musical surprises. The creative relationship they have questions the social order of the United States, yet theirs is a quintessentiallyAmerican Story: Kindred spiritsPunk rock and hip hop came from the same place, fueled by identical sentiments: people taking the music back, reclaiming it, and finding a new audience. Waterson, primed from the mid-70s Punk scene, began his musical career in ’79 as a founding member of Green onRed.
They inspired artists as diverse as My Bloody Valentine, Wilco and Mazzy Star with their records and psychedelic palette.Years later, Waterson continued his influential journey by opening the revered musical instrument store, Future Music, a Los Angeles staple. In ’99, an 18 year-old Younge realised that he wanted to create music that sounded like the records he was sampling.Unbeknownst to him, he serendipitously wandered into FutureMusic.
It’s there, he realised his dream was possible.Intrigued by the stores focus on pre’83 equipment, Waterson soon became a mentor in developing Younge’s unique analog sound.They spoke heavily about the importance of vintage equipment and it’s use in creating revolutionary worlds.During these years, Waterson schooled Younge on psych and art rock; Younge returned the favor by schooling him on Hip Hop, the origins of sampling, and its source music.
Together this unlikely duo manifested new revolutionary worlds with Waterson appearing on every Younge album within the last decade.Adrian Younge presents Jack Waterson is getting lost in the impressionistic and at times jarring world of psychedelia, questioning what is real and challenging to question the role you play in this world.These kindred spirits have created a cinematic psych album with no boundaries. Laced with hip hop breaks and acid rock, their intention is to subvert the designation of what is black vs. white music.