The 22nd installment of I Used to Love H.E.R., a series in which artists/bloggers/writers discuss their most essential or favorite hip-hop albums (read intro), comes from Mike Bell, one-half of electronic-pop duo the Lymbyc Systym. Bell and his brother Jared, based in Austin by way of Phoenix, released Love Your Abuser last year on Mush Records. A remix version of the album – featuring the Album Leaf, Daedelus, the One AM Radio and more – will be available March 1. Each disc will be numbered and feature handmade packaging. Check the group’s site for pre-order information on Feb. 1.
- Lymbyc Systym | Truth Skull
Madvillainy (Stones Throw, 2004)
Madlib and Doom’s masterpiece Madvillainy changed the way I think about hip-hop. Not only did it breathe fresh air into what I considered to be a stale genre, but inspired me to start producing hip-hop beats and collaborating with mc’s.
I absolutely adore Madlib’s production. I had read an interview with him in which he said he makes an album’s worth of material every day. Whether this is an exaggeration or not, this guy is way prolific and inspiring. His use of rag-tag funk and soul samples, coupled with strange vocal samples provides for a great experience when listening to records he’s produced.
Madlib’s also a self-taught multi-instrumentalist, and a pretty skilled one at that. He always adds his own touches to his loops, be it a bassline, rhodes part or chopped drum groove.
In my mind, Madvilliany is Madlib’s best work. It captures the essence of everything I mentioned above. I have a feeling he was so inspired to work with an mc as talented as Doom that he chose his freshest unused beats to use on the record. When listening to Madvilliany I hear the friendship between Madlib and Doom, a level of excellence that could only come from a unique collaboration between friends. I love looking at photos from the sessions on stonesthrow.com … pictures of Madlib and Doom laughing, recording and taking bong hits on the roof. I see great times, just as i hear when bumping this record.
Often times I’ll listen to a record and say “hey, i could do that”, and i definitely had one of these moments when listening to Madvilliany. I was so inspired to try my hand at taking samples from old records and adding my own touches with rhodes, bass guitar, synth and drums. Since then I’ve amassed a library of hours of beats and snippets, which will eventually be whittled down into a hip-hop record with my lyrically gifted good friend and desert dweller, Future Lord aka Michael Busse from Chronic Future and Back Ted N-Ted.
One last thing I love about Madvillainy and Madlib in general is how the craftsmanship is taken quite seriously, while the mood and vibe can become quite silly and light hearted, a far cry from the shoot-’em-up, booty- and money-driven sounds of most commercial hip-hop. There are hilarious chopped dialoges from Fantastic 4 cartoons placed as interludes throughout. On Shadows of Tomorrow Madlib’s high-pitched alter ego Quasimoto chimes in to give love to weed and Sun Ra and on America’s Most Blunted Madlib digs out some awesome sample of some goofy white boy talking about making music while high … it’s just so freakin laughable, yet so innovative and so well produced.
Madvillain | Money Folder Madvillain | Shadows of Tomorrow