Thursday, September 3, 2015
Madlib – “Indian Hump” from Beat Konducta Vol 3-4: Beat Konducta in India (2007 Stones Throw)


I can probably get through this whole post without saying “East meets West,” right?

This track is one of 34 on the instrumental album Beat Konducta in India, a continuation of soundscapes he’d created with an eye towards cinema. About the first installment (Volumes 1 & 2, released in 2006), Wikipedia describes it as “a soundtrack to a nonexistent movie in Madlib’s imagination. That’s evident on this track (technically the second track on the first of the two LPs that made up the vinyl release of Volumes 3 & 4), which mashes up two vampy loops that shouldn’t go together – soul piano and Indian strings.

But Madlib is Madlib, and so it works. And when it stops to give voice to some Bollywood dialogue that I can’t for the life of me understand (I’m ashamed to say I don’t even know what language it is, but I think probably Hindi), it still kind of makes sense some how, punctuating the track with some urgency.

The beat that undergirds the whole thing is a sort of shuffling traipsy hip-hop beat that sounds exactly like the kind of thing a producer who likes to cut things up and put them back together would probably create.

I know I’ve said it before, but I think that Madlib is one of the most interesting producers in hip-hop. His creations aren’t always the most accessible (though this one isn’t all difficult), and that’s fine. There’s joy in his music — he’s creating the projects he wants to create — and that, to me, is the mark of high art.


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