Madlib – Medicine Show No. 2: Flight to Brazil

by Dinorah Wilson (Journalism), published May 24th 2011

Moldy | Stale | Edible | Fresh | Tasty!

Originally released in February of 2010, Madlib’s Medicine Show No. 2: Flight to Brazil, the second mixtape of his ongoing 12-part series, Madlib Medicine Show, offers an earful for fans eager to explore early influences of hip-hop.

Surprisingly, for a mixtape showcasing Brazilian music, there is very little hip-hop, samba, or mixing involved. In nine tracks, Madlib weaves together an impressive number of vintage Brazilian jazz and progressive rock snippets that range from the early 60′s to 80′s.Though the artists are not credited, gems by legendary greats Arthur Verocai, Flora Purim and Jorge Ben Jor contribute to an enjoyable listening
experience. Fans have a rare chance to have a full listen at cuts that have gone relatively unnoticed as background instrumentals to their favorite songs by many artists including Common and MF DOOM, until now.

For better or worse, Flight to Brazil signifies a departure from Madlib’s earlier work; it is a definite change from Madlib’s signature style of relying on beats, bass and blue notes. At times, the mixtape can seem like an automated tour of Brazil rather than a Madlib production. Despite having excellent samples, Madlib never demonstrates the full extent of his talent here; the Beat Konducta simply lets the songs run after one another without any structure.

Luckily, for Flight to Brazil, less is more; each sample is good enough to stand on its own. Other than a few subtle tweaks, the majority of the tracks are left unaltered; free to be appreciated in their natural state.

What emerges is a solid, free flowing mixtape that entertains, educates and remains relevant long after its release.

Recommended Tracks: Curitiba, Rio de Janeiro, Fortaleza

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