More high-quality beat action from the archives of the beloved J Dilla, this time with totally new-to-the-public material! Dillatronic’s 41 tracks are particularly heavy on electronic synth lines, supported by breaks that have that perennially funky Dilla quality. A total treat for Dilla-heads, out on Vintage Vibes / Ma Dukes Official.
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You wouldn’t think that there was too much left to lick out of the J Dilla mixing bowl but this collection of his electronic works shows off his versatility whilst confirming that we haven’t reached anything like a drought yet.
His touch is all over these tracks from the clipped beats to the tape-delayed shouts to the odd siren wail (always a Dilla giveaway). I can’t see any kind of track list so presumably these are untitled things he had been working on at some point. It’s mid-paced and melancholy throughout, the opening piece sets the tone with a distinct synth voice picking out a melody that is not dissimilar to some of the stuff on ‘Ruff Draft’. Next comes a gorgeous piece of soft hip-hop, a bed of synths drift hazily around a clonking beat - this is way further into pastoral electronica than I’ve heard Dilla go. it’s hard to imagine any rhymes being placed on top, it would be like an elephant treading on a butterfly.
That’s not to say these tracks don’t have an unfinished feel, they are obviously bed rocks for future vocal work, voices do appear in snapshots on the twirling forth track with ascending horn synth and bass entwining around themselves while glistening sparkling keys glint on top. Later on there are a few almost Egyptian sounding pieces overlaid with samples that will be familiar to any ‘Donuts’ fan. As we get to around track seven there’s a series of smart electro funk pieces - slinky late night slices of minimal funk with the odd extremely memorable melody (track 9 is particularly brilliant).
These forty instrumentals are available across three slabs of vinyl or on one CD and are essential to any Dilla connoisseur. Thanks Ma Dukes.
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- Dillatronic by J Dilla
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