Madvillain, the collaboration between the producer Madlib and the rapper Doom, turned out one of the great rap albums of the last decade in 2004's Madvillainy. A follow up is finally due this year; their label Stones Throw calls it a work in progress, but the first new material has arrived. "Papermill" sees the pair in sprightly mode, with Madlib layering uptempo samples and beats over Doom's swiftly delivered rhymes. It's an enticing taste of what might be to come.
The song was given as a free download last week through the Adult Swim site, in the second installment of their "Singles Programme" (ind.pn/9SPWxS), offering eight singles in eight weeks. Previously they gave away a new track by Bonnie Prince Billy and Matt Sweeney.
A phone-in with a difference
There have been numerous online, stripped-down music performance shows, a la Black Cab Sessions and the Take Away Shows. Phoning It In, from the KDVS 88.1fm station in Davis, California, takes a similar approach to live radio performance. "Lo-fi is the right fi," declares their mission statement, "dj talksonthephone calls up all your favourite musicians for live over-the-phone performances and awkward conversation." That is pretty much it. These regular performances by various leftfield US indie acts are given as free podcasts at phoningitin.net. Notable recent shows includes ones from ukulele troubadour Dent May (myspace.com/dent may) and lo-fi experiemental disco from Trailblazer (myspace.com/totally trailblazer).
A monster mash from Outkast
In April, on hearing "Shutter-bug", the first single from Big Boi's gloriously titled upcoming solo LP, Sir Luscious Left Foot: the Son of Chico Dusty, I instantly gave it pride of place on the Arts & Books Barometer. I return to the Outkast rapper's brilliant slab of electro-funk futurist hip- hop, because of its recently unveiled video. The thing is quite a sight: an eye-melting mash of special effects, visual gags, colours, and human-sized puppets. Watch it at ind.pn/99ZKn8.
Foals trot out some Miami nice
Equally strange as Big Boi's promo is the new video for Foals' song "Miami", featuring an odd encounter between bulging bodybuilders, some transgendered women and an open-top car carrying a few burly men; all culminating in the car pulling some impressive hydraulic leaps – a trick picked up from numerous hip-hop videos, perhaps. Oxford this certainly isn't. See it at youtube.com/wearefoals.