‘These Times’ has been lovingly made with a torrent of textures. Through the labyrinthine motions, McCraven and his entourage stay relentlessly kinetic with an unusual level of calm. That is a genuinely great aspect of this record: it is testing, but it works for you, with you. The liquidus quality of the marimbas, flute, and harp seem to echo a flat stream running on time, rather than an ocean thrashing down. As the central percussionist, McCraven equilibrates that stream with charismatic elegance and composure. Each track might in fact be its own stream—this is an expansive work that guides its stunning components with affection and ambition.
A favourite: ‘So Obuji’
‘In These Times’ is out now via International Anthem.