Madlib’s been busy these last couple years. And while his recorded output always spans the gamut, he often returns to recurrent themes, spread across the genres that serve as home base – or bases, as it were. 2010 will be an ambitious one for Madlib and Stones Throw Records, with his slate of 12 Medicine Show albums and mixes, his rap albums for the likes of Strong Arm Steady, Guilty Simpson and MED and a series of albums based around the now-defunct Yesterdays New Quintet’s “spin off bands” that he introduced on the Yesterdays Universe album. If you’ve read this far, you’re probably aware of the former two categories – now on to the jazz. The second of Madlib’s 2010 jazz albums is Young Jazz Rebels’ Slave Riot.
Slave Riot, as you can guess from the title, is a rather chaotic affair. While his previous album, Last Electro Acoustic Space Jazz and Percussion Ensemble’s Miles Away rambled along at a leisurely pace, Slave Riot guns to top speed almost immediately and rarely lets up its frenetic pace. To put this in a Sun Ra context, think of this as Madlib’s Black Mass, as opposed to Last Electro’s Sleeping Beauty.