Crate Digging Weekly: Madlib and Four Tet’s “Sound Ancestors”

“The legendary Madlib and UK based producer Four Tet released their new collaboration album ‘Sound Ancestors,’ and the anticipation was worth it,” writes Entertainment Editor Elliot Rodriguez.


Courtesy of Madlib Invazion.

Elliot Rodriguez, Entertainment Editor

The new Madlib and Four Tet collaborative album “Soul Ancestors,” released Jan. 29. 2021 and consists of 16 tracks. Legendary producer Otis Jackson Jr., better known as Madlib, this LP takes the listener on a journey through Madlib’s music career.

Madlib has worked with various big names such as MF DOOM, Erykah Badu, J Dilla, Kanye West, and now the UK based producer Four Tet, whose real name is Keiran Hebden.

Though the album is credited to Madlib, it’s a collaborative piece with another hugely influential producer, Four Tet. Four Tet was responsible for editing, arranging, and mastering the album, which he did under his real name.

Madlib, being one of the biggest names in Hip Hop, has had a long journey. He got his first real taste of recognition from the tracks he produced for the 90s crew “Tha Alkaholiks,” and has been raising the bar ever since. “Sound Ancestors,” is the perfect blend of his musical journey thanks to Hebden. “It was more, I want to take the things I like the most and make them as good as I possibly can,” Hebden said in an interview with the New York Times.

The audience experiences Madlib’s journey as a producer, with each track from the album. Whether it’s a free jazz-influenced track like “Duumbiyay,” or the raw hip hop sound that Madlib is known for and demonstrates in “Riddim Chant,” this album is sure to keep the listener astro traveling.

While the two musicians are hugely influential in different genres of music, Four Tet in dance music and Madlib in Hip Hop, they both come from a similar background when it comes to influence.

“We all collect the same things… He’s a little more out there than me. He collects nature and bug sound records. I’m going to get there,” Madlib told the New York Times.

My favorite track is “The New Normal.” The modulated synth and the energy behind the track sends me back to one of my favorite “Beat Konducta” tracks, “Sir Bang.”

Even though “Sound Ancestors” is an amazing journey, it is hard to mark this in the category of Madlib’s greatest works. “Madvillain,” “Champion Sound,” and “The Unseen” are just some of the legendary pieces that Madlib has put out, but, “Sound Ancestors” is still a great listen.

Four Tet and Madlib’s collaboration LP “Sound Ancestors,” can be streamed on all major platforms.

Elliot Rodriguez is the Entertainment Editor for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email him at [email protected] or DM his Instagram, @elliotyaknow.

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