1. j dilla – e=mc2 (feat common)
i’m currently going track by track through a mix i recently did for a website called research and development – find out more here.
1. j dilla – e=mc2 (feat common)
j dilla‘s catalogue is, for good reason, crystallising into canon. like so many others, i’ve been obsessively listening to donuts for the last 18 months or so, completely inspired and entranced by his style. the way he slices and dices pop and soul tracks is so organic and immediate, listening to donuts for me is something akin to a psychedelic experience, and thats strange for me to say because i don’t know much about ‘psychedelic experiences’. donuts is a real journey album. he experiments with form and rhythm, butchering songs into beats with the utmost respect for the source material. weirdly, when i first started listening to donuts i couldn’t help but think of the all too brief and too few musical inderludes of cassetteboy‘s “parker tapes” – brutal slice and dice beat experiments. more on cassetteboy later, suffice it to say that the comparison is kinda ridiculous – i guess that really just says more about my lack of wide-ranging hip hop knowledge than anything else.
i was recently alerted to the fact that not everyone appreciates j dilla’s slice & dice – when a blogger featured dionne warwick’s “stop” on one of his mixes last year i emailed him rather breathlessly (if such a thing is possible, i did it) to alert him to j dilla’s re-interpretation, which appears on donuts. i quickly found out that not everyone hears j dilla the same way: “that was an utter piece of shite. That sounded like someone messing around with a new sampler. Chopping up an already perfect song — what’s the point?” well whatever the point was, i think he missed it, but thats ok. i think for some people its hard to believe that for some, the act of sampling someone’s material is like the highest form of praise. there is also an art to doing what j dilla does, it sounds a lot simpler than it is. his ‘wonky beat’ style is distinctive, immediate, hypnotic… hey i’m probably preaching to the converted here.
i’ve been so taken with donuts that i’ve not yet reached the rest of j dilla’s back catalogue, post-humous or pre-humous. but i did come into contact with this track “E=MC2″ which features on his post-humous release the shining. this track is underpinned by a sample from the original giorgio moroder track “E=MC2″, which is a track that i absolutely love not just as a pure articulation of classic moroder sound, but also because the end of the track features the album’s liner notes, sung by giorgio thru vocoder – “keyboards and programming by harold, with a little help from giorgio…” check it out below, i love in particular the fact that he runs through the technical details in that distinctive vocoder monotone and saves the best for the end – “tea and coffee by lori”… if you’ve seen pics or giorgio than you already know he is possibly the cutest man to have ever brushed his moustache against a moroder – the outro liner notes from this track will do nothing to dispel that notion.
MP3: J Dilla – Stop
MP3: Cassetteboy – Billy Bonds Loop
MP3: Cassetteboy – Thomas Chad
MP3: Giorgio Moroder – E=MC2
they won’t all be this long, i promise