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    Otis Jackson Jr. is indeed a musical madman. Otherwise known as Madlib, Jackson has bent, flipped, tortured, scarred and carved every genre of music known to man on his way to creating soundscapes for everyone from the Lootpack and Alkoholiks to MF Doom and Talib Kweli. But there’s those times when Madlib drifts into a musical mode when he feels the need to prove that he’s more than just a guy behind the boards. Yesterday’s New Quintet is the guise that Madlib has used over the years to deliver some of his more personal works of art.

    Already blessing his fans with albums like Stevie and Angles Without Edges, the original one man band man has created a fan base for those who love where today’s music came from. Some people dig it, some don’t. Madlib could care less though and delivers yet another piece of instrumental work with Yesterday’s Universe, dubbed “the last YNQ album”.

   On this outing, Madlib borrows and reinterprets some of music’s greatest musicians. From Miles Davis’ “Bitches Brew” to Bebeto’s “Barumba”, Madlib cleverly careens his way through history as he does his best to give today’s children a taste of what music used to be. Every element brings you to a smoky, dim lit, lounge on some dusty corner where all the poor musicians gather to experiment with different styles and instruments. Whether it be “Umoja” and its nostaligic horns or the diehard funk demonstration “Street Talkin”, Madlib delivers an album that many may not be ready for but those who just dig music can see where he’s coming from.

   Yesterday’s Universe is Madlib doing Madlib.  With its retro jazz vibes and ultra smooth tempo, it may just be enough to subdue even the most hardcore Madlib fan. Some may not like YNQ and probably never will. But by now YNQ has YNQ fans so this shouldn’t be anyone’s introduction to Madlib’s alternate universe. Take it for what it’s worth, a jazzy homage to some of the greats set in the new millennium. It’s just good ass music!

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