The ghost of James Dewitt Yancey–better known as J Dilla–still looms large over the entire music industry. From the obvious influenced artists such as Common to the less obvious such as Flying Lotus and chillwavers Toro Y Moi, Dilla’s omnipresence still triggers sonic waves today. Count classically trained duo, Live Footage, among that inspired set. The two craft their own mixtape ode to the Detroit luminary, Live Footage Plays Jay Dee, that lifts Dilla’s original production into full-fledged lush opuses.
Raj hit on Dilla’s resonance back in February, so I’ll leave the lionizing thoughts to his piece. However, for those let down that the Stray Phases’ playing of Donuts wasn’t available for download, Live Footage fills that void. Footage adds their orchestral, stratified assistance to such Dilla classics as “Didn’t Cha Know” for Erykah Badu and “Stakes Is High” for De La Soul. Haunting strings re-interpret solo-Dilla track “Think Twice,” while a reinvigorated, stellar ambiance commands Footage’s “So Far To Go.”
It may be five years since Dilla’s passing, but his timeless tunes remain immortal cornerstones. Live Footage let’s all listeners remember that Dilla’s product wasn’t just Hip-Hop–it was music.