BPM Counter: 24 Hour Party People’s Weekly Picks

Madlib: The Beat Konducta-WLIB AM: King of the Wigflip (Rapster)(US)

This release is the last installment of the highly influential Beat Generation series that the Rapster label pioneered. Here the talented West Coast producer and MC Madlib picks up the torch left behind by the late J Dilla of Detroit and gives it the loopy, doped-out twist you’d only expect from a crazy mo-fo like Madlib.

This is a good hip-hop album as Madlib moves beyond the now-ubiquitous J Dilla-invented studio tricks of hip hop circa 2008 (can anyone say Kanye West??) with a steez that can only be described as all his own.

“WLIB AM” is somewhere between a proper mixtape and a stoned afternoon of TV viewing. The album lopes along at its own lazy pace somewhere between the “cosmic explorations” of Sun-Ra and his Arkestra and the gritty street funk of DJ Premier, with some not-so-subtle nods to Jay Dee and the midwest electro takeover that is almost impossible to ignore in any facet of modern dance music.

The guest MCs still have nothing to say, but that doesn’t slow this album down in any way, and hardly anything detracts from one of the few bright spots in 2008 hip hop. Sad to see this series go but glad to see it helmed by one of the last great crate diggers.

UNKLE: End Titles…Stories For Film (Surrender All) (US)

Remember when James Lavelle and his Mo’Wax label ruled dance music and people actually liked trip hop? Lavelle formed UNKLE with DJ Shadow, and the two crafted an interesting album of disjointed pop, hip hop, and other forms that defied logic.

Well, Lavelle and Shadow have long since parted ways, and the follow-up releases from Lavelle and a revolving door of collaborators have been either uneven or inspired to put it kindly.

The latest from UNKLE is a collection of music created for or inspired by film, giving the whole project that same quirky, disjointed feel as earlier releases, and for the most part it works despite the mash-up of stoner and indie rock, electronica, and ambient soundtrack mood music.

Suprisingly, rockers like “Chemical” featuring Josh Homme of Queens Of The Stone Age fit well alongside electronica like “Romeo Void” and even Bob Dylan-inspired folk from film director Abel Ferrara on “Open Up Your Eyes.” I can’t say that I 100% loved End Titles, but the odd nature and the collection of good songs kept my attention until I realized that my iPod could do the same thing.

Anamnesis: This Is The Way The World Ends mix (US) (no image available)

This mix was given to me by Billy Hopkins — one half of the local duo Anamnesis — and explores more of the punchy, electro-rock side of dance music.

The mix is sugary sweet with fistfuls of vocal cuts, stuttered editing tricks, and 8-bit bleeps ala Simian Mobile Disco or Hot Chip. It’s a great summertime driving mix that is memorable enough to stand up to repeat plays but overall is just a little too silly to be considered a classic.

– Sean-Michael Yoder

Sean-Michael Yoder is a Chico, California-based music writer and tastemaker. Check out more at vinyljunkierecords.blogspot.com