Considering that Manchester-based producer Lone (a.k.a. Matt Cutler) got his start crafting exploratory beats for labels like Werk Discs before moving into prismatic UK rave, it's not a total surprise that his freshly released Reality Testing LP for R&S finds him revisiting some of his hip-hop roots. In that spirit, Lone has selected his top five tracks from Madlib for the latest installment of our Hi-Five series. The legendary LA-based beatmaker and Stones Throw affiliate has produced for everyone from MF Doom to Freddie Gibbs, and has also issued a dizzying number of his own releases, both as Madlib and Quasimoto. As such, Cutler had to do plenty of digging, but he's gone through the extensive Madlib catalog and come up with a collection of influential standouts.
Quasimoto "Seasons Change"
This isn't on YouTube, unfortunately. Without a doubt my favorite beat though, sampling [jazz musician] Roy Ayers on The Further Adventures of Lord Quas album (or more recently, the Yessir Whatever compilation). Just unbelievably dreamy, and totally influential on everything I've done since hearing it.
Madlib "Understanding (Comprehension)"
Beat Kondukta shit. I'm someone that perhaps gets a little too emotional about music when it hits like this, but there's something about the choice of sample on this—his gift for focusing on a particular section—that I struggle to hold back the tears. Gorgeous.
Jaylib "McNasty Filth"
Unbelievably hard. Never gets old. Check those hi-hats.
Tha Alkaholiks "Killin' It"
Early beat from Tha Alkaholiks. As much as I'm obsessed with Madlib's more experimental solo stuff, I think it's always important to check his straight hip-hop productions. As strong a voice as Dilla, overflowing with attitude and personality.
The contrast between those lyrics and the gorgeous Kool & The Gang sample...