Madlib interview Revisited

Diwon interviews Madlib. This was around the time when Yesterdays New Quintet came out. For yallz that don’t know, the man is a genius. He is every fictitious player in that quintet. He is also both the high voice and low voice rappers in his band, Quasimoto and he is everything in all his other projects too. Dude is more prolific than Prince.

1. How does the music of others affect your own?

sometimes i hear great music, sometimes i hear wack music. the great music influences me in subconscious ways – i might pick up a piano style from steve kuhn and not even know it. the wack music pushes me away and leads me to create music that doesn’t sound anything like it.

2. What current producers do you consider the most influential? The most innovative?

i dig jay dee, he’s real dope. his sound is everywhere now, he’s both
influential and innovative. of course, i check for dj premier. he’s one of the all time greats.

3. Do you feel people read too much into your music?

sometimes, especially with the quasimoto album. i read so many crazy
reviews of that record – but for real, i was just trying out some weird ass idea.

4. What artforms go best with “beats” (music videos, live dance
performance, etc.) hmm, that’s a tough one. i tend to think “smoking trees,” an artform that people rarely see as such.

5. I realize that the names of the individuals that are attributed to each instrument on the album are fictitious, and it’s really all just you….so here goes.

a. Do you record any of the instruments live and if so, do you cut pieces of a live performance and loop it to sound like a sample?

all of the instruments, besides the drums, were played live by me.

b. What do you do to the instruments to get your own sound (i.e. what effects proccessors do you
use and how important are they in your recording proccess)?

well, the drums are sampled (i assume you’re talking about ynq here), i
chop them into small pieces and tap them out live. but as to the rest of the instruments, i just try to eq them as well as possible in my digital board.

6. What programs do you use for mix down?

i do everything straight into my roland 1680.

7. Do you put more energy in any one of your alter egos, more so then any others? Secondly, do you have a favorite alias?

hard to say – the quintet takes a lot of my energy and quas has been
getting jealous. i gotta watch my back. my favorite alias is probably lord such – that’s one ill ass nigga.

8. Trane or Miles and why?

miles ’cause he was around long enough to try his hand in almost all the
jazz eras – and he was ill in all of them.

9. How did you get started making the kind of music that you do?

really, i think the music started me.

10. Do you know who you are…or just who you can be?

when i wake up in the morning, and i start recording, it’s like a moment
of clarity. my day begins and ends with music. everything that i am, or can be, is tied up in the process.

and from Egon of Stones Throw: “right! no doubt! except madlib actually “plays” the drums – through his sampler. he chops them up and reprograms them. -e.”


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