The second Madvillain album. The third Quasimoto album. The Supreme Team and Professionals albums. Rock Konducta. Dozens of jazz projects. Cocaine Pinatas with Freddie Gibbs. I could keep listing announced Madlib projects that have not as of yet seen the light of day, but a longer list would just make me sadder. Since the release of the thirteenth installment in Madlib’s mostly underrated Medicine Show series a few years ago, things have been mostly quiet from his camp. He’s been holed up in his four-room studio space for the last few years, working on new stuff that he doesn’t particularly care to release.
Now, in a rare interview with the Bad Kid, the fans are getting a whole bunch more upcoming albums that can make us sad when they never come out. According to Lib, every few years he goes through a year-long period where he just listens to jazz records and plays a bunch of instruments. He just finished up one of those years, so a ton of new Yesterdays Universe records are on the way. He’s also producing a lot of songs on the new Mos Def record and working on some other hip-hop projects that he doesn’t name. He’s almost done with the third Quas album, finally. On the Madlib getting weird tip, he said that he’s got some “early Kraftwerk-type stuff,” and that he listens to Throbbing Gristle and other industrial music. Based on well how his forays into jazz and broken beat have gone, a Madlib industrial or minimal wave album is an exciting prospect. Little bits of a new Mos song, a great Busta remix, and what could be some of that Kraftwerk-type stuff from his recent performances in London can be heard in the video too. Oh and he mentions an unreleased J Dilla jazz record and electronic record. He’s probably put a few dozen albums’ worth of new material to the side over the last few years, and it sounds like a few of those might actually see release this year. Most won’t.
If there is one thing out of this long list that is really, truly worth getting excited about, it’s that he says he wants to get really out there in his music, and that he’ll probably do that in five or ten years. As one of the seemingly few people who thinks that O.J. Simpson is a great record even if you listen to all of the endless skits, the day when Madlib gets really far out can’t come soon enough. He could put Ras G out of a job (Ras G is dope though, and his new Raw Fruit tape is insane).
And even though I know I shouldn’t believe anything I hear about these records until they’re on the Stones Throw website with cover art and a release date, I really can’t help getting excited. In the meantime, this interview and some of his recent stuff will have to tide us over.