Madlib / Various The Other Side: Los Angeles

Not so much a CD but more a hip guide to what’s dope in Los Angeles, this quick mix by Madlib is paired with an exhausting DVD tour with Peanut Butter Wolf as he buys sneakers throughout the valley. Madlib has never been known for his skills on the ones and twos but he usually manages to get the job done with a suitable choppy style and this mix is no exception, with some really nice transitions. The mood of the mix is basically slow with equal nods to dub, freestyle jazz and Dilla. The overall composition sounds like most Madlib-produced efforts, with random speeches thrown in the middle of some unlistenable segments, but with the majority of the beats being off-centre, they’ll likely get your neck snapping, especially when he drops one of his own joints. The DVD borders on interesting and visually engaging, as PBW and company take you to some record shops, clothing stores and gallery shops around Los Angeles, as well as clubs and corporate gigs that they happen to be playing at. This could have been very engaging but the amateurish camera work and editing are a bit of a headache and there’s not enough time spent actually talking to the people who run these stores and why we’re there in the first place. An interesting little package but don’t get too tempted unless you’re planning a trip to the valley and want to dig at the same place Dilla did. (Fusion III)