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Madlib – Beat Konductor, Vol. 1-2: Movie Scenes

There’s no doubt that Madlib is a gifter producer. His work with independent projects such as Quasimoto, Jaylib and Madvillain are a testament to this fact. Hell, even on this project, there are flashes of his brilliance present. But, without words to go with many of these concoctions, this brilliance doesn’t always shine. And, at thirty-plus tracks deep, the Beat Konductor’s movie scenes benefit heavily from the “fast forward” button.

Culled from the beat CDs that had provided the backdrop for many of his dopest creations, Movie Scenes claims to present a “vivid hip-hop soundtrack for each mood” in the expansive library of one’s life. Each track has a title, as well as a mood parenthesized to correspond with what is unfolding before you. The resulting film is for you to imagine, though there are occasional lapses in attentiveness; even with the relative brevity of many of the scenes. The movie is just too long and often too mellow.


Highlights include: the kick-drum heavy, old school throwback “Open (Space)”; the poppy, percussion driven “Tape Hiss (Dirty)”; the melancholy, Kanye-esque “Stax (Strings),” where you can almost hear Hova rockin’ some verse; and “Whatkanido (Can Do It),” whose vocals set the tone. In between are other banging snippets and some less-than-hype filler. It does serve, however, to showcase the process a producer might go through to fill his coiffeurs with notable, head-nodding music. It also shows the varied influences of the creator, from Jazz snippets to rap to 70’s soul music, this guy is truly exploring. However, this doesn’t make for a rocking soundtrack, only a knowledgeable one.

At the end of the day, this is one of those projects for the hip-hop purest; the up-and-coming producer or MC looking for some beats. Commercial radio heads and those looking for a cohesive, engaging record might want to look elsewhere.


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