As a reinterpreted edition of Dilla's seminal Donuts album, Basement Donuts is the squelching brainchild of New Zealand producer Leonard Charles. Clocking in at a mammoth thirty-one tracks, the release is impressively raw, live and composed in a crisp and layered fashion.
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J Dilla's 'Donuts' has slowly mutated from something that people were initially confused about to being one of hip-hop's most defining and unique statements. And if you are tired of seeing the same tracks constantly re-issued then you can now hear a funky instrumental* re-interpretation of it from New Zealander Leonard Charles.
Now you may wonder what is the point? But also what is the point in getting up in the morning and wiping your face with a flannel? Charles creates slo-mo jams using old style 70s instruments such as clavinet, fender rhodes and creates a poised strutting interpretation. *My previous presumption that it was all instrumental is shot down by 'Airworks' which has the sort of tight vocal harmonies you hear on many a late Chic record. Generally though it's a farty, squelshy minimal take on these classic songs which often take huge liberties with melodic progressions and vocal melodies so that really a lot of the tracks are only loosely based on the originals.
Next stop some beatmaker needs to sample this and create a whole new 'Donuts'. This could run and run.
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- Basement Donuts by Leonard Charles
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