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Various Madlib: Shades of Blue

Crate-digger and storied producer Madlib cooks up a tasty and tasteful chicken soup with Shades of Blue. The album is one part bitches brew: DJ Lord flavors original cuts from Bobby Hutcherson in the joint "Montara." It's one part weak sauce: snare-heavy rock beats collide with lilting flutes in the overly-beefed remix of Otis Jackson Jr.'s "Funky Blue Note." It's one part meat stock: by layering straight hand-claps over liquid vibes, Madlib discovers something haunting and beautiful in Ronnie Foster's "Mystic Brew." Smoke a blunt before listening, and try to get all the nuances.

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