Beatmasters Madlib and Four Tet drop their enticing first taster from forthcoming opus, Sound Ancestors.
Veteran sound sculptor and crate-digger extraordinaire Madlib has shared the first fruits of his eagerly anticipated forthcoming album with the English producer and electronica lynchpin Kieran Hebden aka Four Tet. The infectious Road of the Lonely Ones pivots around a lush falsetto vocal sample dipped in honey and cribbed from a dusty old soul 45, whilst succour is provided by creamy backing vocals, taut guitar and pin-sharp, loping break-beats. Whilst its musical DNA is undoubtedly that of the iconic Californian DJ, producer and multi-instrumentalist, its soulful mix of organic and processed sounds places it in a similar ballpark to Caribou’s ‘Home’ or some of The Avalanches’ recent work.
The pair, whose friendship blossomed in 2005 with the release of Madvillain’s Four Tet Remixes, had begun work on the project in 2018, when Hebden suggested the idea of crafting a cohesive record without rappers that wasn’t just a series of instrumental beats. Over the past couple of years, their creative alliance has flourished, with the American Beat Konducta sending him tracks, loops and half-finished experiments to arrange, edit, manipulate and reconfigure.
The song caps an eventful 2020 for the pair, with Madlib reviving his Jahari Massamba Unit project, masterminding Noname’s Song 33 and working with Oh No and Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire, whilst Four Tet has found time to remix Tame Impala, Caribou and Krust as well as release his Sixteen Oceans album and issue a couple of collaborations with Thom Yorke and Burial.