A sporadically-updated music collection blog. Send questions to twitter or email me.

Monday, 29 April 2013

J Dilla - Donuts

It's been a long while since I bought anything from Norman Records, so of course I had to break that dry spell with a rather large order. This record was actually the reason why I'd gone onto the site in the first place, looking for a copy of this very album. Having found a few other things to get, I delayed placing the order for a while and in the meantime they decided it was time for a sale. Success!

Yep. Donuts. And that's a big donut. There are two different covers to this album, the more common one is of J Dilla's face (aka this) and although that cover is lovely, I think I prefer this one. It's probably worth mentioning that the idea of a 24 hour donut shop has me salivating, too.

Double-LP, oh yes. I really like the miniature version of the other cover, although the picture on the bottom is a bit dull. Not much more to comment on here, really.

There is a lot to say about the album though, but it's difficult for me to put it into context. This is an instrumental hip-hop album which obviously means it's way out of my usual field of expertise (and I apologise for this in advance). Dilla made a few albums himself and also was a rather prolific producer, but this was the last album he made before his death at the tragically young age of 32 from lupus. It was released a mere 3 days before his death, created while his body was slowly shutting down and he was confined to a wheelchair. Regardless of your thoughts on the music, that's a pretty incredible set of circumstances for an album to be made in. As for my thoughts on the music, they need no context - it's amazing. It's soulful, it's joyous, it's introspective, it's beautiful. No song on the album lasts longer than 3 minutes, each one a densely packed chunk of layered samples. It's tough to have a favourite track because individual tracks merge into eachother and before you know it about 4 have passed and it's still tremendously enjoyable. My favourite run of tracks, then, is from Time: The Donut Of The Heart to Lightworks but asking someone else could result in a completely different set of tracks. Listen to this album, please. It takes under 45 minutes and there's a good chance you'll find at least something you enjoy.

The name of the game is lightworks.

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