Before we can even dive into this review we must address the issue of the cataloging this style of music. When I first got into the genre I was told it was called "trip-hop." To me this sent the message that I wasn't allowed to experience it unless I was on some mind-altering substance. Next I heard it referred to as "turntablism," but this sounded more like a science than anything else. Furthermore, in most cases the artists used more than just other records to produce these sounds; so the title essentially robs them of credit for being multi-talented musicians. Most recently I have heard the term "instrumental hip-hop" used to describe this genre of music and I couldn't think of anything more appropriate. I listen and I hear hip-hop but with no MC work. How perfectly fitting! Please don't call it anything else. And so we move onÃ¢â¬Â¦
"This is the soundtrack that exists for the movie in his head", reading this line in another, far less distinguished zine, I was immediately drawn to the possibilities that this album could hold. I was vaguely familiar with the work that Madlib had done with MF Doom, an MC, that despite having some less than stellar tracks can do no wrong in my book. These factors made it essential that I check out Beat Konducta: Vol. 1-2 So I did. And my first exposure to the album was, at best, okay.
The beats themselves were not anything to lose your shit over but enough to get your head bobbing. The transitions I thought were kind of sloppy; with thirty-five tracks it's almost impossible to really get into the flow of any song before you segue into the next. The voice samples seemed to be, at first kind of charming, but after repeated listens I would want to skip over them thinking they would become annoying. I was let down by this album; that is until I realized I was listening to it all wrong.
On the back of the album each volume is titled Movie Scenes with second having the subtitle The Sequel. With that being said I thought how music in a film works; sometimes it's at the forefront of a scene, but more often then not its buried beneath dialogue and visual aesthetic; it's the quiet voice that directs your emotions. With that being said it, this is not an album you focus on intently to dissect and pick apart.
The other day I was going out to dinner with my mother - Tex-Mex for all those who were wondering - and I put the album on again. This time the experience was altogether different. The strong opening beat, complete with orchestral strings, seemed like the perfect send off music as I switched gears and headed out the driveway. While my mother and I talked, the beats in the background were just strong enough for me to notice but not so overpowering that they distracted me from the dialogue we were having. Midway through the trip, a time when there was a bit of a conversation strain, one of the other top-notch beats came in almost exactly on cue. Here the sample work acted as a nice interlude to both the music and the conversation my mother and I were having. As the sample faded out the next beat came in at a level not too over powering. This beat, a steady mid-tempo piece, made the car ride seem like we were on a journey, one to get chimichangas, but still an important journey nonetheless.
This is the sort of album you put on when you just need some extra noise. You'll notice that you'll get caught up in your activity while inadvertently moving to the grooves of this album. Then it's understood that this was Madlib's intention all along.
7.5 / 10
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