Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thursday, May 12, 2011

:: "The Works" Alleycat in Philly this weekend!! ::

I'm super bummed that I'll be out of town for this one, but if YOU are in Philly (or need a reason to come through) this weekend, this even promises to be BIG. The peeps from Neighborhood Bike Works have been working on this event for a few months, and from what I've heard its a combination points/speed race that should guarantee fun for all. Theyve got an after party set up at Danger! Danger! Gallery, and proceeds from registration will go to help NBW program, so it's win-win really.

Race starts at 2pm at Washington Square Park (7th and Walnut).

Monday, May 02, 2011

:: Madlib Civilian ::

Madlib is hands down one of the best hip hop producers ever. I think the first time I heard him - or should I say, realized that it was his work i was hearing - was off of a white label LP I picked up about a decade ago, simply titled "Madlib Remixes". There were a bunch of remixed tracks, including the Roots' "Don't See Us" and Gangstarr's "Just to Get a Rep". One of the standouts, for me at least, was his remix of Noreaga's "Misery Needs Company". The bouncy swing of the keys, coupled with the drum tracks, was just a sound I hadnt really heard before. And when I heard his treatment of the Slum Village classic "Look of Love Part 2", I knew I was hooked.

Madlib started off with his group Lootpack, and although he's really know for his production, I've always loved his voice and odd, off-kilter flow on the mic. On the cut "Whenimondamic", he can be found rhyming with Wildchild:

Madlib is pretty much responsible for what I would figure is a lot of people's introduction and subsequent crazed following of Stones Throw Records. Known to be constantly at home making beats - usually on some pretty bare-bones setups, such as the Boss SP-303 sampler, which at the time could generally be found for around $200 - Madlib began making a steady stream of music for the fledgling label. Jaylib (a collaboration with the late great J Dilla), Madvillain (an incredibly successful collaboration with MF Doom that has lead to a sequel and remix albums), a solo effort on BBE Records titled "WLIB AM: King of the Wiglflip:, and countless production credits with all types of rappers and musicians. Madlib's discography can truly go up against the best of them.

For all of his work with some of the greatest mc's ever, I think my highest level of admiration for Madlib came when it was revealed that he had been making music as a jazz band, playing every part in the band, and releasing EP's as different personas within the band. Dubbed "Yesterday's New Quintet", he'd been generating fans without them even knowing, at least in the beginning, that everything was in fact just him playing instruments himself. His father had been a musician, and obviously it had helped mold him. As Yesterday's New Quintet, Madlib released a stack of music, including a tribute album inspired by the music of the legendary Stevie Wonder. Later on, Blue Note opened up their hallowed vaults and allowed him to sample from their library (which he turned into his album "Shades of Blue")!! Additionally, Madlib has released broken beat albums as "DJ Rels". And of course, a few albums as his helium-voiced, muppet-looking alter ego "Quasimodo".

Most recently, Madlib has been releasing a series of albums under the moniker "The Beat Konducta" (one of his long-time nicknames). These works have spanned the range of his interests from Hip Hop, to African and Indian music, to Disco, and are still continuing as we speak.

I could really go on and on about Madlib, but I'll leave it with these small tastes of his work. I hope you enjoy it!