Thursday, 12 June 2008

Bullion – The Beach Boys Vs. J Dilla – Pet Sounds: In The Key Of Dee

The legacy of The Beach Boys and J Dilla are far-reaching and completely different, I don’t think they have crossed paths until now; Bullion a young hip-hoping beat mashing bootlegging dubsteping fella from London has changed all that. I guess this is in the same kind of vain as Danger Mouse’s Beetles, Jay-Z mash-up The Grey Album. Yet this project seems way more appealing to me. God knows how I missed this for so long I’m slow on the up-take with this, so cheers to fellow DiS massive on the hook up, you know who you are.

Pet Sounds: In The Key Of Dee came out last year and not long after the death of the legend that is
J Dilla. He has been a huge influence on hip-hop and dubstep I keep hearing his name dropped by rising stars such as Flying Lotus and even stars like Kanye West. Dilla’s beats are just brilliant, I’m very fond of: Slum Village, A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Pharcyde and I have just acquired his solo project Dounuts, which I’m very excited about. This just scratches the surface of his work and legacy.

The Beach Boys are massively well known and their album Pet Sounds is a true classic. Californian surf-pop at its finest with hooks to die for and harmonies that make you smile. Songs for beaches and sunshine, it has been talked about so much and hailed as huge so often I don’t have much to add.

A modern hip-hop re-conceptualisation by Bullion really brings these two wonderful set of artists together and creates something wonderful. You can tell that this is done for the fun of it and because of the love of the music involved. It makes me want to go and buy Pet Sounds and loads of J Dilla, let alone look into Bullions work as he has started to release original material now too.

*Presses play*

Songs In The Key Of Dee is brilliant sunshine hip-hop infused music; the beats are massive and funky as hell. The Beach Boys snippets add a ghostly atmosphere and some beautiful melodies. The snippets are used sparsely at times to add rhythm or freaked about with to make cool loops.

Lets Go Away For A while being a massive highlight with its horn stabs and rolling drums. The bit that says, ‘Now with no drums’ just before they drop out is sublime. Each track works perfectly in the context of the album it works together so good as a whole. In places it reminds me of Avalanches as they use similar soulful pop samples.

Here Today is a cracker stop start sections and the vocal sample really brings it alive. Along with the bass line and those irresistible J Dilla beats. Its also a wonderful transition into Caroline, No. it flows like one big mega mix DJ mash-up and of course it is.

God Only Knows is a classic Beach Boys tune and it is done justice here too, with samples from other versions of it thrown in for good measure. I love the vocal harmonies and hook in this tune always have done. Bullion makes it into a dance floor hip-hop beast. I love the way it flips and cuts from one version of the vocals to another by a girl group. Then we smash into You Still Believe In Dee, which is a nice tribute to J Dilla in the title, and indeed we do.

I Know There’s An Answer reminds me of some wonky dubstep from the likes of Flying Lotus or the beats of The Pharcyde. Lopsided brilliance. Its also another brilliant mix into another classic tune from The Beach Boys, which is... Wouldn’t It Be Nice that has been cut up almost out of recognition into a looped out funky slice of hip-hop.

Don’t Talk (Close Your Eyes) is a deep piano based beauty that has a big beat that I just can’t get enough of: What a sample that is, irresistible. This fades out and ends the session…

Well if it wasn’t for the bonus tracks, Long Promised, Time For Us All To Love and Young Heart Ache that is. These tunes are just as good as the rest of it, with their funky loops and skitting drums. Some soulful breakdowns here too along with the odd pitch shifting build up. Young Heartache is the standout from these extras; with more crisp lop sided drums and a ace atmosphere added by the ghostly vocal howls. Then its over, what shall we play now…

Bullion has made a really fun and addictive slice of hip-hop tomfoolery that sparkles with love for The Beach Boys and J Dilla. Both sets of artists deserve some love as does Bullion, so go and check out his myspace and his other original material as that sounds really good too. He seems quite low key and I haven’t heard about him very much so spread the love of this talented fella. Enjoy.

Bullion – The Beach Boys Vs. J Dilla – Pet Sounds: Songs In The Key Of Dee

1 comment:

Ultimate Cowboy said...

Yo thanks for the great write up and track descriptions here - I've been listening to Sounds in the key of Dee this morning, and am loving it.

I think Let's Go Away for A While might be my favorite track.

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