January 08, 2010

Matson on Madlib: hits from Medicine Show Vol. 1

Right now, I’m swimming in Madlib. The Strong Arm Steady album is nails but this Medicine Show Vol. 1 with Guilty Simpson is show-stopping. Insane samples handled with true daring, always with dense haze via whatever production trick—pitch shift, compression, I don’t know—and of course all that crazy bass.

Check out the incredible chimes that run throughout the “Ode to the Ghetto” remix. Who else would put them so far out front in the mix? And what other song uses that sample of the bass and stuff? It’s on the tip of my tongue. I’m embarrassed I can’t place it.

“Ode to the Ghetto” remix

And then there’s the “American Dream/The Future” remix. Mr. Madlib is way, way deft with the wistful super-flickery memory lane piano/bells, and then completely kills with whatever ‘70s-sounding rock sample that is. Plenty of empty space in both for rapping, and a perfectly no frills changeup between. Both beats are bloody raw.

“American Dream/The Future” remix

As if to let us know he can make a straight street seether with the best of them, we have “Further,” which benefits from as deep a sustained horn as exists and Guilty going super violent on a verse. Murder music for real for real.


I love that the tape is stitched together mostly with old black comedy routines. It’s almost all sketches about relationships, which is Guilty’s bread and butter. He’s such the beleaguered gangster mack.

It’s insane that there are 11 more of these Medicine Show releases in 2010.

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