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Madlib: Beat Konducta Vol. 1 and 2

Madlib: Beat Konducta Vol. 1 and 2

Label:Stones Throw
Release Date:2006
Genre:Hip Hop/Rap

By Michael Crumsho | Posted 4/19/2006

“Prodigious” and “proficient” barely hint at the productivity and creativity of perennially blunted Oxnard, Calif., native Madlib, a hip-hop multitasker who has more projects than a polygamist has wives. All the hours spent holed up in his home studio, however, have yielded relatively few discs under his chosen nom de beat. Beat Konducta Vol. 1 and 2 is his first proper solo outing since he reworked portions of jazz label Blue Note’s esteemed back catalog for 2003’s Shades of Blue.

Conceived as a series of film soundtracks and presented like an anonymous ’70s library LP (with suggested moods and scenarios listed alongside each track title), Konducta plays more like an audition tape of beats for all of ’Lib’s creative outlets. The clipped kicks and chunky synths of “Sir Bang (Bounce)” or “Chopstyle (Suey Blast)” would have fit well alongside his collaborations with J. Dilla, while the glide of “Pyramids (Change)” taps the same retro-funk zeitgeist of his work under the Yesterday’s New Quintet handle. If one flick did exist to encompass each of these tracks, it would probably be a cross between Sun Ra’s Space Is the Place and Robert Downey Sr.’s Putney Swope—all disjointed blaxploitation breaks commingling with future-dazed keyboard swells.

Madlib’s discography easily stretches to an arm’s length, and each of his works has more than a few half-baked ideas that should have been tossed like seeds and stems. Konducta is no different. Still, it’s worth a look, if only for a 50-minute head trip through the mind of one of hip-hop’s hardest-working and constantly confounding boom-bap savants.

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