Madlib has released Sound Ancestors, a new album arranged and mastered by Kieran Hebden, better known as Four Tet.

Madlib and Four Tet, two iconic producers, have been in contact since 2001, having connected through Eothen Alapatt, the label manager of Stones Throw. They decided to work together on an instrumental album in 2019 during a dinner, and Madlib, a rapper and producer born Otis Jackson, Jr., began sending over hundreds of unreleased or unfinished beats, plus live instrumentation he’d recorded with various musicians during studio sessions. It was Four Tet’s job to piece them all together.

“He [Madlib] is always making loads of music in all sorts of styles and I was listening to some of his new beats and studio sessions when I had the idea that it would be great to hear some of these ideas made into a Madlib solo album,” Four Tet explains. “Not made into beats for vocalists to use but instead arranged into tracks that could all flow together in an album designed to be listened to start to finish.”

“I wasn’t looking at it being like I want to stamp my sound onto his in any way,” Hebden said to the New York Times. “It was more, I want to take the things I like the most and make them as good as I possibly can.”

Four Tet originally dropped news on the album in the comments of his YouTube livestream, simply saying, “I’ve made an album with Madlib,” before adding, “got other new stuff coming too.”

The release lands on Madlib Invazion and has been pressed onto CD and a variety of vinyl colors and formats: standard black, purple “16.35 Hz” (edition of 400), blue “20.50 Hz” (edition of 400), and a purple/blue/rust Bundle (edition of 100).

Renowned engineer Bernie Grundman cut the lacquers for the album in Los Angeles, and Errol Richardson took on art direction.

Four Tet released Sixteen Oceans, his latest album in March. Madlib, meanwhile, released a spiritual jazz album with drummer Karriem Riggins as Jahari Masamba Unit in late November.


01. There Is No Time (Prelude)
02. The Call
03. Theme De Crabtree
04. Road Of The Lonely Ones
05. Loose Goose
06. Dirtknock
07. Hopprock
08. Riddim Chant
09. Sound Ancestors
10. One For QuartabĂȘ/Right Now
11. Hang Out (Phone Off)
12. Two for 2 -For Dilla
13. Latino Negro
14. The New Normal
15. Chino
16. Duumbiyay

Sound Ancestors LP is available now. You can order it here and stream it in full below.