Madlib: The Other Side Los Angeles

In order to understand Madlib’s erratic sound choices on the CD The Other Side Los Angeles (Deaf Dumb + Blind Recordings) fairly, you have to be familiar with the whole crux of Time Out Magazine’s “Other Side” campaign. The trendy lifestyle rag’s series devoted to the underdog’s tour of major cities in the world pairs an uncut sightseeing DVD with a commissioned soundtrack by well known but under the radar music personality. The tour guide on the DVD end of this venture happens to be Stone Throws founder and DJ extraordinaire Peanut Butter Wolf. The audio work goes to none other than the record company’s mainstay Madlib.The potpourri of sounds on The Other Side Los Angeles reflects Madlib’s liberal musical tongue. His palette includes elements of jazz, Hip-Hop, soul, funk, reggae, and even some rock and roll distortion. Madlib is less of a producer on this effort as he is a jockey picking telling samples from his personal index of records. He selects tracks like the highly synthetic yet commonly sampled “Clear” by Cyberton and sets them beside “Spread Love” a mellow ditty by Harris & Orr. The Other Side has a few peculiar songs. Believe it or not, the CD’s most amusing cut is “Nuclear War” by fabled jazz musician Sun Ra. The song stands out not so much because of its musicality, but more for its jovial understatements like, “If they push that button/ You can kiss your ass goodbye.” Fluky content is a staple of this CD as songs betray their genre and structure slides down the priority list. Add the obligatory Quasimoto (Madlib’s nasal alter ego)“Greenery” and the CD has more diverse views than a funhouse mirror.With Madlib’s eclectic flare and Peanut Butter Wolf’s alternative guide through LA, The Other Side Los Angeles reaches Time Out Magazine’s objective with its coverage of the glamorous sights in a given city that are not usually prone to make the official travel brochure. Peanut Butter Wolf brings us to artsy spots in the Hollywood/ Santa Monica area like Blue Chips, Obey Giant, Creatures of Comfort, and other a la mode shops, galleries, and eateries. Madlib and Peanut Butter Wolf give their rendition of the LA sights and sounds du jour, and despite jousts of seemingly meaningless noise, it all makes sense somehow.