In Madlib's latest transmission, 35 bite-sized soul samples, space-jazz loops, and leftfield speech edits ride atop an endless rhythmic flow. Part beats CD and part imaginary film sound track, Beat Konducta's overall effect is mesmerizing: Once you strap in and leave the traveling to Madlib, you never know where you are or where you're going next. That you don't need to know is the whole point. Like late Detroiter Jay Dilla with whom he released tracks as Jaylib Otis Jackson Jr. has been pointing music toward a kaleidoscopic hip-hop future since the 1990s. His newest trip is divided into halves. The first is introduced by a dedication ("For all ... who held it down from the beginning of the birth of this whole shit"), and the second unfolds like a dark carnival ride through a chaotic Bollywood production. The beats gradually crunch harder and the rhythms get funkier the deeper you go, particularly on "Friends" and "Money Hugger." The horns, grimy basslines and rich male and female voice cut-ups get hotter as Beat Konducta heads for the finale, where, suddenly, everything chills with its hushed flutes and strummed guitars, "Outerlimit" is another unpredictably beautiful dispatch from Madlib's fantastic voyage.
Walter Wasacz writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to email@example.com.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.