VARIOUS ARTISTS PEANUT BUTTER WOLF'S JUKEBOX 45S
In my darkest nightmares, I think the music industry has a squad of thugs to quash projects this inspired. Get this: Peanut Butter Wolf, the chief of LA-based indie label Stones Throw, missed the moribund single format so much that he collected several CDs' worth of 45s with the most artsy, eccentric and compelling hip-hop and soul around. Sound like a recipe for musical sprawl? It is. But it's a sublime sprawl, proving there's still a creative, avant-garde heart to hip-hop. Much of Jukebox 45s was born from the messy, prolific genius of Stones Throw producer Madlib. His many musical manifestations—the experimental, sociopathic rap of Quasimoto; the sunny bebop jazz of Yesterday's New Quintet; the esoteric hip-hop of Beat Conductor, all collected on this CD—neatly delineate this project's outlaw cred. And providing Madlib with spectacular company is the James Brown-hot soul of various lost-classic 1970s groups—such as the Fabulous Souls—or projects such as P.B. Wolf's sly battle of the sexes on "Devotion 92." So what's the Wolf's next crazy scheme? Supposedly Stones Throw hip-hop—on eight-track. Let's hope it's no joke.
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