"The Plan Pt. 1" by Georgia Anne Muldrow
On signature masterpieces like The Unseen and Madvillainy, producer, rapper, DJ, and one-man jazz band Madlib doesn't just make beats, he creates sprawling, absurd, trippy sonic universes out of old records and long-forgotten scraps of pop-culture history. Now, with poignant, perfect synchronicity, BBE's essential producer-centered "Beat Generation" series began spectacularly with Jay Dee's Welcome 2 Detroit, and ends with his Jaylib partner's long-promised, endlessly delayed entry, WLIB: King Of The Wigflip. Madlib spends much of the disc producing for artists in the Stones Throw axis, but his restless, abstract personality seeps through pretty much every track. Not content merely to pump out beats, he scribbles playfully in the margins, loading songs with ideas, funky little details, and loopy black comedy. Georgia Ann Muldrow's "The Plan Pt. 1," for example, combines the warm crackle of dusty vinyl, spoken-word poetry, rapping, singing, sampled comedy, and speechifying in just over two and a half rambling, unrushed minutes. WLIB's loose concept is irresistible: a free-form radio station with a direct line to Madlib's warped cerebellum. It's a beautiful, impossible dream, but for 54 mellow, blunted minutes, King Of The Wigflip makes it a glorious reality.