Very few things have floored us here at impossible city. I mean the kind of stuff that has your walking creep to a crawl, mouth agape, scratching your head with a quizzical look on your face to finally stop dead in your tracks with an ear tilted listening to true science. This said moment is one of first discovery; that of stumbling upon a million dollar idea that will save the world. A sound or idea-way of thinking-that should have been yours; it was so simple yet so untapped. Well, this week we definitely had one of those and were completely happy and content on the finding.
One of our, and most people’s, favorite and most influential albums of all time has got to be The Beach Boys 1966 release – Pet Sounds. We shouldn’t, and won’t, get into it too much here, but this is the record that changed Popular music. With production being led by band member, and musical genius/best rock-pop producer of all time, Brian Wilson this record changed everything. Without Pet Sounds the Beatles would have never made Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Sir Paul McCartney has even repeatedly named it as one of his favorite albums (with “God Only Knows” as his favorite song) — completing a circle begun by The Beatles’ influence on Wilson. McCartney stated that:
“It was Pet Sounds that blew me out of the water. I love the album so much. I’ve just bought my kids each a copy of it for their education in life … I figure no one is educated musically ’til they’ve heard that album … I love the orchestra, the arrangements … it may be going overboard to say it’s the classic of the century … but to me, it certainly is a total, classic record that is unbeatable in many ways … I’ve often played Pet Sounds and cried. I played it to John [Lennon] so much that it would be difficult for him to escape the influence … it was the record of the time. The thing that really made me sit up and take notice was the bass lines … and also, putting melodies in the bass line. That I think was probably the big influence that set me thinking when we recorded Pepper, it set me off on a period I had then for a couple of years of nearly always writing quite melodic bass lines. “God Only Knows” is a big favourite of mine … very emotional, always a bit of a choker for me, that one. On “You Still Believe in Me”, I love that melody – that kills me … that’s my favourite, I think … it’s so beautiful right at the end … comes surging back in these multi-colored harmonies … sends shivers up my spine.”
So, that being said when we heard what we heard we were floored.
Yet another HUGE influence here at impossible city is one of the best, if not the best Hip-Hop producers of all time…the late J Dilla. James Dewitt Yancey’s career began slowly; he was highly regarded among the groups and rappers for which he produced, mostly notably including production for critically acclaimed albums by impossible city faves Common, Busta Rhymes, A Tribe Called Quest, and The Pharcyde. He was a member of Slum Village for their acclaimed debut album Fantastic, Vol. 2. In the early 2000s a collaborative album with California producer Madlib, Champion Sound, which catalyzed the careers of both artists. Just as his music was becoming increasingly popular Yancey died in 2006 of the blood disease TTP.
Dilla’s beats and production is paralleled by no one. Before becoming one of hip-hop’s greatest musical inspirations, Dilla came up through the ranks of the Detroit music scene. Detroit singer/musician Amp Fiddler first taught Dilla how to work the MPC (a sampling/beat-making machine). “The first beat he played for me he looped the whole track from cassette player to cassette player,” Amp Fiddler said. “There were a few drops — but for the most part it was pretty damn precise. So I told him he needs to go home and separate all the samples to load into the MPC, and he came back with all the samples separated and mapped out exactly how he wanted it. As time went on, he got better and better. He used to come by the crib to get on the MPC and (he’d) work on it for three or four hours at a time. He used to have a big smile on his face — because he was so excited — after finishing a beat.”
That was Dilla. Finishing a beat was one thing, but the popular underground hip-hop sounds of pioneers Pete Rock, Diamond D and DJ Premier led Jay Dee on the path to becoming a legendary technician. From the very beginning of his career Jay Dee was known to be a studio rat, always working and always improving on his sound. “What separates Dilla from every other producer in hip-hop is that he became superior to all his influences,” said DJ House Shoes, a Detroit hip-hop DJ/producer. “He was a natural and made me want to be better than I was.”
Hey was to Hip-Hop in the late 90s and 2000s what a young Brian Wilson was for Popular Music back in the 60s. If only there was a way to get both geniuses on one song or set of songs….well there is and some guy from Fthe UK, of all places, has done it.
Pet Sounds: In the Key of Dee
1. Pet Sounds
2. Sloop Jay D
3. Lets Go Away For a While
4. I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times
5. Here Today
6. Caroline, No
7. God Only Knows
8. You Still Believe in Dee
9. I Know There’s an Answer
10. Wouldn’t it Be Nice
11. That’s Not Dee
12. I’m Waiting for the day
13. Don’t Talk (close your eyes
Producer Bullion, from Acton, has “re-imagined” Pet Sounds in the style of Dilla. It is NOT a mash-up. He has taken snippets and samples from Pet Sounds and sampled them in the style J Dilla would have/may have used to produce a truly amazing, and hypnotic, interpretation of Brian Wilson’s Opus. At first listen we were taken aback on how deftly the Frenchman’s sourced Beach Boys samples were being blended, much in the same way Wilson layered the vocals on the original to make a cohesive entity. At times it sounds like the always summery El Guincho mixed with some stuff off of Animal Collective’s Sung Tongs (impossible city fave). Nonetheless well well worth the effort, listen, download, and podding of.
Get your album here
Whilst stumbling around the internets dazed from onslaught of musical minds merging we found some other interesting Pet Sound-related material.
Pet Sounds completely covered(apparently by ravers)
A mash-up of Pet Sounds and Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band that gets a little noisy, but the album art can be amusing.
Try this Anthology of J. Dilla greats, not the cheap B-Sides but classics
If you wasnt some Dilla with the crust cut off, then try these chamber singer versions.
Filed under: album review, mp3, music, news, rar zip, zip / rar | Tagged: A Tribe Called Quest, AlphaInventions.com, Amp Fiddler, Animal Collective, Bullion, Busta Rhymes, Common, condron.com, Diamond D, DJ House Shoes, DJ Premier, El Guincho, free, God Only Knows, impossible city, J Dilla, James Dewitt Yancey, music, Pet Sounds, Pete Rock, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Sir Paul McCartney, Slum Village, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, The Pharcyde, v |