The Midnight Hour is the work of Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Adrian Younge, accomplished producers whose self-titled 2018 album is synthesized orchestral soul and jazz as approached by golden-eared crate diggers.
Known most for his membership in legendary rap group A Tribe Called Quest, Muhammad previously joined Younge -- familiar to deep listeners since his 2009 score for Black Dynamite -- on sessions for the likes of Souls of Mischief and Bilal. The two initiated the Midnight Hour in 2013 only to put the project on ice once they were commissioned to provide the score for the web television series Luke Cage. Eventually completed and issued in 2018 as a 20-cut double album, The Midnight Hour featured Raphael Saadiq, Laetitia Sadier, Bilal, and Marsha Ambrosius among its numerous guests. Not all of the songs were new. "Feel Alive," a duet between Karolina and Loren Oden, had previously appeared on a compilation from Younge's Linear Labs label, while the CeeLo Green collaboration "Questions" had formed the basis of track six on Kendrick Lamar's untitled unmastered. Even more remarkably, a reinterpretation of Luther Vandross' "So Amazing" applied the original, 30-year-old vocal recording with the blessing of the late singer's estate. ~ Andy Kellman, Rovi