Artist: MadlibTitle: Beat Konducta Vol. 1-2: Movie ScenesRating: 3 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Jason Hortillas
When a rapper decides to inject an additional moniker or a.k.a., its usually to add personality. In the case of Madlib, it's more like method acting. Whether it be the fun loving Quasimoto, or the band leader of Yesterday's New Quintet, he has more aliases than the Wu-Tang Clan combined. This time around, Madlib invokes his producer persona on Beat Konducta Vol.1-2: Movie Scenes (Stones Throw). Gagging Lord Quas on this effort, it is an instrumental album chock full of his signature So-Cal soul inspired beats-eccentricities and experimentation included.
Initially, the compilation as a whole is a hard listen with 35 tracks to digest. However, replay value is a must since youll hear something different with every run through. Libs beats are an awkward familiarity - you either hate it or love it, but most times the latter prevails. Paying homage (or just liking the samples) to the Hip-Hops forefathers, Madlib's rendition of Afrika Bambaata's "Planet Rock" on "Open (Space)" as well as James Brown's "The Big Payback" on "The Payback(Gotta)", definitely does the originals justice. Madlib flips the Bambaata joint like a bounce track while maintaining its familiar tune. The Godfather of Souls revamp goes beyond merely looping, adding elements to make an entirely new song.
Madlib has a way about him when producing- the ability to take sounds so synthesized yet combining the pieces to sound fluid. Not falling to any standards there are moments where the crackle and pop of dusty vinyl is not taboo but encouraged. The mesh of laid back cool vibes and "stab a dude" bass heavy tracks adds a contrast that either will confuse or inspire.
The Madlib school of beat making may not have heads lined up around the block, but willing students do receive an education on the "do you" approach to music. The results may not be what you expect but evidently the music is true to creativity.