In a jagged rundown of next-level beat chemistry, Beat Konducta Vol. 1-2: Movie Scenes lines up a staggering 35 vignettes from producer Madlib, built from beat CDs and, presumably, an infinite amount of hash. The Oxnard, Calif.-based Madlib pulled a delirious collection of beats from production demo CDs that eventually gave way to recent massive hip-hop collaborations. On Movie Scenes, there are pieces from his Madvillain efforts (the critically embraced pair-up with MF Doom), Jaylib (his collaboration with the recently departed J Dilla), and the alien-alias side project known as Quasimoto. A couple even sound like ones he might have penned for his brother Oh No's breakout, The Disrupt, but regardless of who these beats were meant for, they're as displacing on Movie Scenes as they were before they got here.
Madlib's skimpy methodology (mostly beat machines and decks) results in frazzled, atmospheric production that sometimes stands a strong chance of upstaging the MCs with whom he's situated. Like Dilla's recently released Donuts, Madlib's entries for Movie Scenes are painfully short, and moments like the ballroom strings swoon-and-scratch of "Snake Charmer" should be longer. These are film sequences, however, and that brand of Madvillainy weirdness is here, establishing a vibrant, cinematic essence on Movie Scenes.
The storm trooper laser buzz stabs of "Sir Bang" couldn't possibly have worked with even the most quick-witted MC; its trailblazing disjointedness can only be traced to Madlib's connection to '60s psychedelia, a relationship that surfaces also in his slick Van Dyke Parks cribbing on "Left on Silverlake." The deep, clapping crunch of "Open" is nothing more than prime parking lot fodder for leaning against an open trunk and talking shit. Madlib's head-of-the-class skills on Movie Scenes are definitely suited for film scores, specifically for a Russ Meyer tribute or maybe another pants-free, bong-heavy party at Zabriskie Point, minus all the bland dialogue. They can keep that.