Wednesday, 1 July 2009

In the Sounds of Dee

J Dilla has to be one of my all time favourite producers ever - he's worked with A Tribe Called Quest, Common, Busta Rhymes, Mos Def and De La Soul.  It's his solo work that really does it for me - the beats are chunky and crunchy, and it's unbelievably easy to hear how big an influence he must have been on FlyLo, Bullion, Tayreeb, Paul White - any of 'those' hip hop producers who I'm feeling so much now.

So when I discovered that Bullion had attempted a mashup of some Jay Dee's solo stuff and Beach Boy's seminal Pet Sounds (which still remains one of my favourite albums... if only I'd been alive in '66), I wasn't exactly suprised.  The way Bullion pastes tiny snippets of Pet Sounds, covers of Pet sounds and Dilla's beats together is breathtaking - the arrangements are so diverse that it's impossible not to love this.  

I first discovered the album through a review over on Dubstep forum, which compared it to Dangermouse's Grey Album - but for me this kind of comparison is just lazy.  Bullion pulls off something infinitely more interesting, more varied and more intelligent.  To call this a remix or mash up album is falling far short from the truth - rather than combining the two to create a mix, he extends them both into a posthumous tribute of two of the greatest artists of our times.

Highlights include 'I Just Wasn't Made For These Times', which retains Wilson's psychedelic tendencies and adds a soulful bounce, 'God Only Knows' and "Wouldn't It Be Nice'.  The whole album is absolutely essential summer listening - get on it.

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