Monday, March 16, 2009

Beat Konducta Vol. 5-6

by Madlib

Madlib has to be the artist currently working that I respect the most. His prolific output, matched by its consistent quality, is amazing, and I like his work best when he is producing the instrumental Beat Konducta series.

This cd, comprised of the Dil Cosby Suite and the Dil Withers Suite, is a tribute to the late great James Yancey, or J Dilla, Madlib's friend and collaborator on their classic Jaylib project.

For this tribute album, Madlib has attempted to channel Dilla's use of soulful samples and drums, and has on a number of tracks, pulled it off quite well. Had you played some of these pieces to me a couple of years ago, I might have easily believed I was listening to something new from Dilla. It's nice to hear that Dilla sound again, and also nice to immerse myself in a nice long Madlib album.

There are 45 tracks in total on this disc, mostly a minute and half in length. If I had any criticisms to make of this album, it's that the tracks don't flow together as seamlessly as the pieces do on Dilla's majestic 'Donuts' album, and that, at times, can be jarring. As well, I don't like that Madlib has replaced the signature Dilla siren with somebody screaming - it's unsettling.

J. Rocc is credited as being featured on this album, but I'm not sure in what capacity. His usual mash-up style seems to be absent.

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