It probably wasn’t designed to do so, but Madlib’s The Beat Konducta Vol. 1-2: Movie Scenes has been one of the more challenging records I’ve listened to this year.
Designed as a soundtrack to an “imaginary movie,” Beat Konducta comprises 35 tracks, which looks daunting until you realize none of them are more than three minutes in length. The arrangement had me a little baffled: Do I listen/digest as 35 separate tracks or absorb it as a sum of its parts? A friend told me to think of it as 35 snippets that would be incredible songs each if expanded upon, which sorta begs the question: Why not expand upon them?
Regardless, it’s an interesting concept, and the samples are knee-deep in soul and funk. I can’t imagine the pain of sequencing this album; that is, if there was any logical reasoning behind the order of the tracks. In fact, deciding which tracks to post is a little difficult if only because the longer you listen to Beat Konducta the more it shapes itself like a mixtape, with no real beginning or end to each of the songs but a continuous mix, as abstract as it is cohesive.
So listen to a couple individual tracks. Or go to eMusic and check the whole thing.
Madlib | Stax (Strings)
Madlib | Eternal Broadcaster (Authentic)