As plenty of folks will tell you the world over, the impact of J Dilla‘s work is massive. With that in mind, I’ll spare you (the reader) from reading an excessive amount of praise for the late Detroit rapper/producer/DJ. Despite constant imitators, there can only be one Dilla. That being said, there is absolutely nothing wrong with finding inspiration in his golden discography—and that’s just what Japanese producer DJ Mitsu The Beats has done with his latest project.
Celebration of Jay accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do with a title like that. It’s a musical celebration of Dilla through the eyes, ears, and brain of Mitsu, who was particularly moved by the albums Fantastic Vol.2 and Welcome 2 Detroit. He wrote on his Bandcamp page that his goal was to create music without being inspired by any other artists. But when he heard those projects, he just couldn’t help it:
[T]here was no way to escape his influence. His extremely tight drums were made without relying on quantization, and his use of sine waves for bass and layering filtered samples was incredible. He had a distinctive utilization of space, and seemingly rough but delicate style. There’s no doubt that he laid the foundations for my current style.
We hear you loud and clear, Mitsu, and we think that your take on Dilla’s style, Celebration of Jay, definitely has him smiling down on us all. The 20 tracks on here are filled with slick sample flips that are looped infectiously. The drums and bass knock accordingly, too, which means you may want to play this one in your car if you can. If not, a good pair of headphones will definitely do the job. I say find a new book to read, put this on repeat, and dig in.
You can stream the album below and buy it on Bandcamp.