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Madlib – Medicine Show #11 : Low Budget Hi-Fi Music (Review/ B-House Approved)

by Eric on February 16, 2011

“Medicine Show 11: Low Budget Hi-Fi Music”-Madlib

“Louder (Blast Your Radio Theme)

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“O.G. Pt. 1″ (Whirlwind Mix w/ A.G.)

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I’ll be the first person to admit, I’ve never been the biggest Madlib (Otis Jackson Jr.) fan.  Well, let me rephrase that, Madlib has released so much product over the last year with his famed “Medicine Show” series that it’s been hard to keep up with the pride of Oxnard, CA and the big brother of OhNo.  Shame on me, prior to Madlib’s most recent outing,  “Low Budget Hi-Fi Music”, the only other volume of the Medicine Show that I’d heard was “#1: Before the Verdict”, released over a year ago.  However, I do plan on copping the remainder of the series after digesting “Low Budget..” throughout the past two weeks that I was “snowed in”.

With all that being said “Madvilliany” the collaborative effort between two quirky personalities, L-I-B and his sidekick Quasimoto and MF Doom with all his numerous aliases is one of my top 25 LPs ever.  Matter of fact, the CD has remained in the disc changer in my car for the last 5-6 months, it seems as if “Madvilliany” never seems to age and only gets better with time.  Crazy to believe, that the LP is nearly 7(!) years old already.  Of all Madlib’s contributions to his musical catalog since the release of the 2004 CLASSIC, I’d have to say that “Low Budget..” is the one LP that most resembles “Madvilliany” in terms of cohesiveness, originality (not as if ‘Lib was ever lacking in that particular category) and re-play value.

A 28 cut trek through the halls of, or rather, depths of Madlib’s crates, “Medicine Show 11″ finds a familiar cast contributing to the host of “lo-fi” instrumentation, courtesy of one of Hip Hop’s cornerstones of originality.  Hell, “Louder (Blast Your Radio Theme)” which emerged from the lost Jaylib (‘Lib & Dilla) sessions nearly merits a purchase of the album solely.  The aging, yet still very effective Andre The Giant (A.G.) sounds rejuvenated on the “Whirlwind Mix” 0f “O.G.”, while the usual suspects, to include the aforementioned OhNo, Strong Arm Steady, Guilty Simpson, MED, Roc C and the triumvirate of LMD (LMNO, Declaime and MED) add a “family affair” feel to “Low Budget Hi-Fi Music”.  Even Frank Nitty (of the Dilla “offspin” duo Frank-N-Dank) put his Detroit connections to good use with an appearance on “Stageridin’ (First Demo Double Image Mix)”.

Yet, it’s Madlib’s production tactics that dip into aspects of Jazz, Brazilian and Funk that remain the star of the show, tack on the well-placed soundbites and interludes and “Low Budget..” makes for one of the more interesting, entertaining and unexpected listens in recent memory.  Again, all this coming from one who hasn’t bit into all the Madlib “hype” over the last decade.

So, in closing, I hope you’ve invested in a good pair of headphones, and not the overhyped, overpriced, BEATS BY DRE jawns either (I swear by Skull Candy), ’cause your gonna’ need ‘em for the instrumental expedition that is “Medicine Show #11″.  Just as the hottest track on the album states, you’re gonna’ wanna “Blast Your Radio (A Lil’ Louder)” as Madlib has conducted one of his finest outings in over half a decade with “Low Budget Hi-Fi Music”!

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