His breakthrough album as a lead artist, In the Moment, was released via fledgling Chicago label
International Anthem in January of 2015. The dramatic double LP statement was also McCraven’s
coming-out as a producer, where he debuted his unique brand of “organic beat music” – defined by
his process of recording live, fully improvised, exploratory ensemble performances, then editing &
post-composing the recordings into concise & catchy song forms.
McCraven went on to release his first DJ-style mixtape Highly Rare in 2017, produced from a single
live performance in Chicago. That same year, he began production on a second mixtape titled Where We Come From (CHICAGOxLONDON Mixtape) made from live recordings – this time captured in London, where he improvised with an all-star cast of cats from the city’s bubbling jazz scene. In October 2018, McCraven delivered the epic double LP Universal Beings, featuring his signature post-production rub of live improvised recordings from 4 sessions in New York, Chicago, London and Los Angeles, showcasing an A-list roster of emergent players from each of those creative hotbeds. In January 2020, McCraven re-imagined Gil Scott-Heron’s haunting farewell transmission, I’m New Here, for the album’s 10th Anniversary.