The mighty Madlib Medicine Show just toured Australia. Still mainly known for his hiphop productions - solo and with people like MF Doom and J Dilla, Madlib [pictured above with free jazz icon Sun Ra] really is addicted to any beat and melody you can possibly think of. He lives a crate diggers dream; rather than carefully planning his releases, he decided to throw out his Medicine Show volumes like he was selling donuts. No label boss would agree to such a stupid plan but that’s never been a problem for Madlib as he’s released all volumes of the Medicine Show through his very own Madlib Invazion inprint. “It’s great to work with someone who’s just very determined like that. Madlib just wants to put out a record every month so that’s what he does,” says manager, friend and former flatmate Eothen Alapatt aka Egon just after he steps into TITLE Surry Hills on the day before the Sydney show.
So what’s the series about? Well, it’s a number of things. This is what went out to press when it all begun early in 2010: “Madlib is launching Madlib Medicine Show, a 12-part music series (12 CDs, 6 LPs) on his own imprint, Madlib Invazion. Odd numbers, beginning with #1 in Jan. 2010, will be original hip-hop, remix, beat tape and jazz productions; even numbers will be mixtapes of funk, soul, Brazilian, psych, jazz and other undefined forms of music from the Beat Konducta’s 4-ton stack of vinyl.”
All volumes are still available from TITLE and here’s what we think are a few highlights:
Madlib Medicine Show #2: Flight to Brazil: this second volume is a mixtape stuffed with bossa, samba and tropicalia with artists like Gal Costa, Maria Bethania and others delivering the tunes. All of this is presented in a mind expanding way. This line on All Music sums it all up: “The entire thing is a wild head and heart trip, saturated in gorgeous melodies, killer, slippery rhythms, and sonics that are so spaced out, they could only occur on one of Madlibs recordings.”
We love all things trippy, hence the equally psychedelic nature of our second recommendation, Madlib Medicine Show #6. The Brainwreck Show. If this is what it feels like to have your brain wrecked, we’re OK with it. We’ve spotted ‘Touch’, a sublime ballad/upbeat song by Amsterdam’s 60s beat group The Outsiders, a lot of breaking glass and a very noisy flock of kookaburras.
With our third tip, Madlib Medicine Show #10: Black Soul, the man from Los Angeles returns to planet earth with a sublime selection of bass line heavy disco cuts most which we had never heard of before. And you don’t learn much with compilations like this, the tracklistings remain in Madlib’s brain.
So well done Madlib - you can’t be bothered setting up a proper promo campaign; we’ve just done it for you! - Chris de Wit, TITLE Surry Hills
Here’s a unique chance to complete your collection. Sign up for a TITLE 10 membership instore [free!] and get all volumes of Madlib Medicine Show for just $15 on CD!