Though he has definitely come a long way since the first time we heard him, Chicago-based producer Manic Focus (John McCarten) has been able to fly somewhat under the radar (and that’s a good thing). If you aren’t familiar yet, it’s about time you get acquainted; and there’s no better place to start than by checking out his latest—arguably freshest—release, Cerebral Eclipse. For those who are already down with Manic Focus, this album is another fine addition to his repertoire, maintaining his signature spacey style of electro-soul while bringing some spot-on collaborators like Griz, Dom Lalli, and Michal Menert (among others) into the mix. Like his previous releases, Cerebral Eclipse is heavy on the bass—putting it somewhere between dubstep and electro-soul—but it also highlights McCarten’s impeccable sampling skills and ear for layers and details in his music. Manic Focus glues together samples from the worlds of soul, blues, and hip-hop with funky, flowing beats and some well-placed instrumentation to take listeners on a journey through the past, present, and future of music. Even though it’s available for free (courtesy of Griz’s Liberated Music label), we suggest you show your support by purchasing the album on iTunes or by checking out Manic Focus the next time he rolls through your town. Listen below and enjoy!
Colorado aside, Chicago is one of those places that gets particularly spoiled with incredible performances from some of this biggest names in the game. Because Pretty Lights running through the city for a three night run on the Analog Future Tour isn’t enough, Gramatik will taking the city by storm on New Year’s Eve for a two night run. Each night is being hosted at a different venue. Concord Music Hall in Logan Square will host Gramtik on night one for a Lowtemp lable showcase and the 2014 countdown will kickoff at Chicago’s stunning Auditorium Theatre with support from Exmag, Manic Focus, and heRobust.
If you haven’t been to a Gramatik show recently, then you’ve been starved of an incredible music performance as the duo has delivering their live sound in an absolutely explosive fashion. The additions of Exmag, Manic Focus, and heRobust pack this event with a devastating amount talent, sure to roll in the new year with a bang in a class of its own. Stay tuned for the full line-up announcement for night one at Concord.