Thursday 10 June 2021

'Messages' by Rise (10 Year Re-Visit)

Following on from the reissue of Marc Rapson's expanded 'Dark vs Light' last month, Futuristica continue their 15-year celebrations with a much welcome revisit of Rise's phenomenal album, 'Messages'.

Celebrating its own milestone of having been released ten years ago this year, the project warranted every available accolade for its unique jazz-meets-hip-hop aesthetic - less so much a project that simply straddled the lines between each genre but one accomplishing the incredibly difficult task that saw its music practically sit comfortably within each.

Hip-hop and jazz have been intrinsically linked for decades.  From the "jazz rap" acts of the 90s - spearheaded by names including Gang Starr and A Tribe Called Quest who created a new art form based on the work of jazz's greats - to innovative and more contemporary projects by drummer/rapper Kassa Overall and Japanese DJs/producers Uyama Hiroto and Segawa Tatsuya who all seek to incorporate live instrumentation as part of their own compositions. 'Messages' serves as much a celebration of the spiritual jazz of Sun Ra - a presence that permeates through much of the album - as it does to 90s Golden era hip-hop and the music presented here has earnt discussion alongside some of the iconic projects that have sought to marry these two worlds.

From the brilliant mind of the Manchester-based producer and DJ, Rise, who would go on to find huge success under the moniker of Mecca:83, 'Messages' sounds as gloriously fresh and innovative ten years later as it did upon first release.  The project has also served as an exciting launch pad for the wealth of releases that adorn the Mecca:83 Bandcamp page that continue to catalogue his adventures throughout the realms of hip-hop - be it through instrumental journeys or collaborative ones.

Although 'Messages' serves as the only full-length release under the Rise moniker, ties with Futuristica have remained strong with Mecca:83 contributing production for Georgie Sweet and remixes for projects by LaNote, Deborah Jordan and Alexis Evans collaborator Simon S under his Peter Franks guise.  During a conversation with Deborah Jordan and Simon S for the Blue-in-Green:PODCAST #83, Jordan recounted the significance of 'Messages' within the legacy of Futuristica releases, "He's such an amazing producer and that particular incarnation is a beautiful expression of who he is".

Should 'Messages' be an album that passed you by on initial release ten years ago then you'd be doing yourself a disservice to let it do so again as the album remains one of Futuristica's finest.  The brilliant and infectious energy of 'Prayer For Love' alone exemplifies the mastery the project exudes and the staple it would subsequently become for music collections everywhere.

No comments:

Post a Comment