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Sound Ancestors

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sound Ancestors
Madlib's Sound Ancestors front cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJanuary 29, 2021 (2021-01-29)
LabelMadlib Invazion
Madlib chronology
Pardon My French
Sound Ancestors
Singles from Sound Ancestors
  1. "Road of the Lonely Ones"
    Released: December 14, 2020
  2. "Hopprock"
    Released: January 4, 2021
  3. "Dirtknock"
    Released: January 22, 2021

Sound Ancestors is a studio album by American musician Madlib. It was released on January 29, 2021 via Madlib Invazion. Produced by Madlib, it was arranged, edited and mastered by Four Tet. The album debuted at number 153 on the Billboard 200 in the United States.


On November 24, 2020, Four Tet announced that he was in the process of making a collaborative album with Madlib during a YouTube livestream.[1]

Four Tet then announced on his Instagram that he and Madlib were ready to release the studio album for January 2021.[2]

The album's tracklist was revealed on January 11, 2021.[3][4]


On December 14, 2020, the first single to be released was "Road of the Lonely Ones".[5] The official music video was released on YouTube the same day.[6] Rolling Stone described the single as a "simple but immersive track built around vocals that seem pulled from some forgotten soul 45 gathering dust in a crate."[7]

Madlib and Four Tet released the second single "Hopprock" on January 4, 2021.[8] The music video was released on YouTube on January 9, 2021.[9] Of the single, Stereogum described it as "a warm, hazy instrumental that Madlib and Four Tet wrote together. The track has a neck-cranking beat, a warm bassline, and a few samples chopped into the mix."[10]

The third single "Dirtknock" was released on January 22, 2021.[11][12]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
Albumism3.5/5 stars[15]
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[16]
Beats Per Minute80/100%[17]
God Is in the TV8/10[19]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[21]
Spectrum Culture3/5 stars[22]
The Guardian5/5 stars[23]
The Line of Best Fit8/10[24]

Sound Ancestors was met with universal acclaim from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 83 based on eight reviews.[14] The aggregator AnyDecentMusic? has the critical consensus of the album at a 7.6 out of 10, based on twelve reviews.[13]

Tayyab Amin of The Guardian praised the album with perfect five-out-of-five stars rating, claiming that "Madlib channels a deep, intertwining lineage of Black music through Sound Ancestors like folklore oration, storytelling with the sorcery of a beatmaker who knows how to make an instrumental really sing".[23] Seb Grech of Beats Per Minute described the album as "a realisation of what the Madlib and Hebden are capable of in tandem. It's bold, different, and takes the genre of instrumental hip hop to the next level".[17] Richard Wiggins of God Is in the TV found "this record further cements his status as one of the most creative and inspirational producers of today".[19] Jeff Ihaza of Rolling Stone wrote: "Like Akomfrah's Data Thief, Madlib sees the connections between the past and future. On Sound Ancestors, he manages to give us a sense of what those connections feel like".[21] Leo Culp of The Line of Best Fit wrote that the album "isn't anything new from Madlib, but it only further cements his status as one of the great producers, artists, and minds in hip-hop".[24] Andy Cush of Pitchfork wrote: "Hebden's arrangement of Sound Ancestors shows deep and intuitive engagement with Jackson's weed-scented sensibility, which has no use for presumptive distinctions between the beautiful and the funky, the silly and the profound".[20] Jesse Ducker of Albumism stated that "Madlib has certainly started 2021 on the right foot musically".[15] AllMusic's Paul Simpson wrote: "while Sound Ancestors as a whole seems as lifetime-encompassing as Donuts, it doesn't feel quite as focused. Still, it sounds recognizably like both Madlib and Four Tet while taking their music into directions where neither artist has ventured before, and its highlights are life-affirming".[16] Daryl Keating of Exclaim! called the album "a mixed bag if ever there was one. It's funky, it's psychedelic, it's jazzy, dirty, clean, and mean. It's Madlib".[18] Max Heilman of Spectrum Culture gave the album 3 out of 5 stars, resuming: "Sound Ancestors amounts to cool sonics that fail to leave a lasting impression".[22]

Track listing

All tracks are written by Otis Jackson and Kieran Hebden.

1."There Is No Time" (Prelude)1:16
2."The Call"2:05
3."Theme de Crabtree"2:16
4."Road of the Lonely Ones"3:38
5."Loose Goose"2:21
8."Riddim Chant"1:58
9."Sound Ancestors"2:50
10."One for Quartabê / Right Now"2:42
11."Hang Out" (Phone Off)2:15
12."Two for 2 – For Dilla"2:51
13."Latino Negro"3:36
14."The New Normal"2:28
Total length:41:15


  • Otis "Madlib" Jackson Jr. – main artist, producer
  • Kieran "Four Tet" Hebden – arranger, editing, mastering
  • Errol F. Richardson – art direction
  • Richard Foster – photography
  • Bernie Grundman – lacquer cut


Chart performance for Sound Ancestors
Chart (2021) Peak
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[25] 116
Scottish Albums (OCC)[26] 25
UK R&B Albums (OCC)[27] 10
UK Independent Albums (OCC)[28] 42
US Billboard 200[29] 153
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[30] 21


  1. ^ Kenneally, Cerys (November 24, 2020). "Four Tet says first single from collaborative album with Madlib is arriving before the end of 2020". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved March 9, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Album Announcement". Instagram. Retrieved March 9, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Kenneally, Cerys (January 11, 2021). "Madlib and Four Tet unveil tracklist for collaborative album Sound Ancestors". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved March 9, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "Sound Ancestors - January 29". Twitter. Retrieved March 9, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Kenneally, Cerys (December 14, 2020). "Four Tet officially announces Madlib collaborative album Sound Ancestors". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved March 9, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Madlib - Road of the Lonely Ones". YouTube. December 14, 2020. Retrieved March 9, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ Blistein, Jon (December 14, 2020). "Madlib Drops 'Road of the Lonely Ones' From Upcoming Album With Four Tet". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 9, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ Kenneally, Cerys (January 4, 2021). "Madlib and Four Tet release second Sound Ancestors single "Hopprock"". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved March 9, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "Madlib - Hopprock". YouTube. January 9, 2021. Retrieved March 9, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ Breihan, Tom (January 4, 2021). "Madlib & Four Tet Share New Collaboration". Sterogum. Retrieved March 9, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ Bloom, Madison (January 22, 2021). "Madlib and Four Tet Share New Song "Dirtknock"". Pitchfork. Retrieved March 9, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ Kenneally, Cerys (January 22, 2021). "Madlib and Four Tet share new Sound Ancestors single "Dirtknock"". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved March 9, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ a b "Sound Ancestors by Madlib reviews | Any Decent Music". AnyDecentMusic?. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  14. ^ a b "Critic Reviews for Sound Ancestors - Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  15. ^ a b Ducker, Jesse (February 6, 2021). "Madlib Forges New Sonic Pathways on Eclectic Four Tet Collaboration 'Sound Ancestors' | Album Review". Albumism. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  16. ^ a b Simpson, Paul. "Sound Ancestors - Madlib | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  17. ^ a b Grech, Seb (February 2, 2021). "Album Review: Madlib – Sound Ancestors | Beats Per Minute". Beats Per Minute. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  18. ^ a b Keating, Daryl (February 2, 2021). "Madlib's 'Sound Ancestors' Is a Well-Assorted Bag of Aural Treats". Exclaim!. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  19. ^ a b Wiggins, Richard (February 3, 2021). "Madlib - Sound Ancestors (Invazion)". God Is in the TV. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  20. ^ a b Cush, Andy (February 2, 2021). "Madlib: Sound Ancestors". Pitchfork. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  21. ^ a b Ihaza, Jeff (February 1, 2021). "Madlib's 'Sound Ancestors' Is All About the Ecstasy of Discovery". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  22. ^ a b Heilman, Max (February 10, 2021). "Madlib: Sound Ancestors". Spectrum Culture. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  23. ^ a b Amin, Tayyab (January 22, 2021). "Madlib: Sound Ancestors review – hip-hop visionary tells wondrous stories in sound". The Guardian. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  24. ^ a b Culp, Leo (February 11, 2021). "Sound Ancestors is Madlib revelling in his love of music". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  25. ^ " – Madlib – Sound Ancestors" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  26. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 13, 2021.
  27. ^ "Official R&B Albums Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  28. ^ "Official Independent Albums Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  29. ^ "Madlib Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  30. ^ "Madlib Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved February 17, 2021.

External links

This page was last edited on 12 March 2021, at 18:14
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