How Bollywood Influenced The Work Of American Producer Madlib
It is believed that the western world’s understanding of Indian music is mainly limited to mainstream Bollywood music. Although this unproven fact might not sit right with some, American hip-hop producer and music maverick, Madlib transformed this very generalisation into a distinct foray into the deep crevices of electronic music in one of his defining albums; Beat Konducta in India: Volume 3 & 4.
Madlib packages the essence of 70s Bollywood into this 34-track album that was released as part of his 8-part instrumental beat tape series that was released back in 2007. The third and fourth instalment to this series contains very distinct experimentation with Bollywood music samples from the 70s, relying heavily on the raw appeal of foreign percussions blended with scratchy vocals that define the very cerebral explorations that Madlib has made.
Sampling Indian music was not an overnight sensation that the industry took to. It was born out of a deliberate fusion and exposure of Indian sounds and rhythms that birthed an almost distinct genre, still purely in its experimentation phase. Madlib allows the distinct character of each sample to dominate his album, which is aided by his unparalleled abilities as a production mastermind. His influences are subtle but defining for his artistic persona in some of the tracks that blend infusions of hip-hop seamlessly with the rough, choppy, and timeless essence of yesteryear’s Bollywood hits.
The album comes as an epilogue to the preceding Beat Konducta 1 & 2: Movie Scenes. Bollywood was undeniably a stop on the way to exploring the voluminous world of cinema-inspired beats and sounds.
While hip-hop artists and producers have percolated further into more traditional Indian sounds that stray away from commercial Bollywood influences, Madlib’s early experiments set the stage for a wider proliferation of Indian samples that have the potential to transcend genres, languages, and more.
Stream Beat Konducta in India: Volume 3 & 4 here.
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