Producer, instrumentalist, DJ, and vocalist Mac Wetha hasn’t been on the scene for all that long. Releasing his debut album Mac Wetha & Friends in 2019, his initial success was largely restrained to the underground. Listeners praised his laid-back, meticulously crafted lo-fi takes that took on elements of grime, bedroom pop, and contemporary British R&B, all laid out against jazzy drums, interesting guitar riffs courtesy of Wetha himself, and the distinctly fuzzy overtones shrouding the project as a whole. In 2023 though, the artist has completely transcended this initial offering—and proven he’s ready for the big time—with a direct sequel: Mac Wetha & Friends 2.
Throughout its 20-odd minutes, Mac Wetha & Friends 2 completely delivers on its title’s promise—friends getting together and simply having fun making music. Each track is imbued with a youthful joy and energy that could never be replicated artificially, and a streak of camaraderie and passion runs through the entire album.
However, not all of Mac Wetha is sunbathing with the homies. In fact, much of it carries an emotional weight that often treads into darker territory, to great effect. The opening track, “Play Pretend (ft. spill tab)” is one excellent example. Beginning with a gentle guitar riff and dreamy vocals, the tone is suddenly, awesomely shifted with a heavy drum beat and electric guitar that brings the song to life, then doubles down again in an emotional, garage-punk crescendo. We listen as the album charges up and gets into gear, like some frantic machine spinning to life before our eyes.
Take your pick; it’s somehow all here. Laid-back jams for summer days (“Fairytale’ ft. Rachel Chinouriri”). Seductive, woozy grooves oozing sex and intimacy (“Don’t You Go Falling In Love’ ft. Biig Piig, Lord Apex”). Ridiculous, booming basslines paired with gravelly spoken word about muffins and the Sistine Chapel (“No Curfew FM”). Bleak, futuristic, synthy post-punk (“Red Hook’ ft. Junior Varsity”). From top to bottom, Mac Wetha gives us fresh ideas, irresistible textures, and the simultaneous, conflicting duality of joy and fear that weighs on every young person in the world today.
Keep an eye on Mac Wetha. Because the moment this young artist releases a project longer than 20 minutes, he’ll be coming for your favourite DJ.