Nearly a decade and some after his untimely death, the late yet legendary J. Dilla has been celebrated countless times for his accomplishments and his untouchable and innovative style of production. His magnum-opus, and highly emotional release, “Donuts” came just three days before his death in February 2006. “Donuts” is not only his most publicized work, but the calling-card of those who seek to imitate his style and/or pay homage. It is important to note, however, that Dilla’s sound in 2006 was the result of a series of sonic evolutions that had taken place over the decade. The last sounds we heard from Jay Dee on “Donuts” were a masterful collage of chopped samples from various records, but before his move to Los Angeles, collaboration with Madlib, and aside from his work with the Soulquarians, Dilla crafted instrumentals that would later end up on a beat tape known as “Old Donuts” (also known as “Another Batch”). Some of these beats can be recognized as interludes from Common’s “Like Water For Chocolate” or instrumentals from Slum Village’s earlier mixtapes, but every one of these beats shares the same sonic palette: harmonically rich samples ripped from vinyl, looped over the grooviest and crispiest drum loops programmed by Dilla himself. “Old Donuts” has more of an east coast influence, as he was directly influenced by the likes of Pete Rock and Q-Tip.
With “Pastries” the Soul Surplus team sought to pay homage to a less popular, yet equally important sound of the legendary producer. Since we are now including clean stems of each loop, we were able to push the saturation and leave in some extra noise for each of these loops in order to come as painstakingly close to the sound of “Old Donuts” as we could. Along with 15 Melodic Loops are over 120 one-shots of organ, synth pads, electric piano, acoustic guitar, nylon-string guitar, and electric guitar. We included about 20 one-shots of sub-bass (recorded with a Fender Jazz Bass V through a 1073 preamp/EQ and a Pultec EQ for earth-shattering subsonic tones) for you to load into your sampler or MPC to get those same signature bass sounds as Jay Dee. While the timbre of each loop varies, the vibe and rhythmic groove that sculpted Dilla’s sound is alive in each and every loop. From smooth, simple baselines, to warm, slightly saturated electric guitar chords, to the classic sound of acoustic/nylon string guitars, there is no shortage of inspiration to be found in “Pastries”.
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