T. Houze brings together a luxurious, glistening world with the jazz hip-hop hybrid of “Midnight Season”. Melodies absolutely glow throughout. A long time in gestation (almost ten years) shows in the best way possible for the atmosphere feels meticulously worked over, a true labor of love. His voice has such a soothing easy-going attitude while the whole of the sound wafts on through in a way that gives off an element of such serenity. Instrumentally rich, the kaleidoscopic array of textures draws the listener into a whole universe. Such a lovely approach, the way he blends the old school and nu-school influences to make it something that immediately has a classic cadence to it.
A whole slew of influences enters into the mix. On the older side of things, their true undeniable joy of jazz takes A Tribe Called Quest’s fondness for deep, meaningful lyricism. For the whole newer, sparkly side of things they take lessons learned from the Brainfeeder Records crew, specifically the Byzantine yet soulful work of Flying Lotus. Within these songs there is a sense of depth, for the geometric design adds to the compelling, rabbit-hole like quality that the entire album possesses.
Power radiates on the tremendous opener “August Breeze (It’s Just The Feeling feat. Millicent)”. Bass stuns for it has such a smoothness to it, with the keyboard chords giving it a slickness. Rhythms have a nimbleness on the genteel “Breathe (feat. KOZA)”. Delicate to its very core the vinyl crackle of “Simple Things” has an almost 90s hip-hop flavor to it. Slinking around with a late-night vibe is the casual cool of “Simmer”. Nostalgia emerges on the yearning “No Sweat (feat. Nikko Miles)”. Truly addictive, the track serves as the highlight of the album, as the flow has a dexterity to it, with the groove almost touching about Daft Punk’s arrangements. A sense of confidence rolls through “Black Hourglass (feat. Devin White)”.
“Healer (feat. KOZA)” has a languid, G-Funk element about it, for the groove has a tightness to it. A sense of dread takes shape on the heavy “The Bomb”. Shimmering with its razor-sharp focus “Midnight’s Theme” absolutely stuns. feat. “August Breeze Part II feat. Valentina Ielà” sprawls out, for there is an ambitious quality, as the song seems to almost rotate, revealing such texture. With “So Gone (feat. Definite D)” there is definitely an old-school East Coast rap kick to it, right down to the careful sampling. On the Adida Slim Mix of “August Breeze (feat. Millicent)” the song gains a physicality to it. Truly wonderful “Media Take Out (feat. Nikko Miles & Ceez Symone)” closes things off on a high note, with the verses balanced finely as there is a harsh critique of the culture, we live in.
“Midnight Season” revels in T. Houze’s ability to craft a whole narrative one that has an inviting presence to it.