We've been bumping the promo version of J Dilla's Donuts album since it arrived earlier in the week. Aside from being reminded every few seconds that we are listening to the promo advance (Attention indie rap labels! We're not going to leak your shit! And even if we were you could use the press! Please just send us watermarked joints like everyone else, the robot voice and the whispering girl and your mans going "for promotional use only, suckas!" are sort of mood-killers. That Atmosphere disc where they say our name is the lone, novelty-value exception.) the disc is a surprising collection of beat-tape leftovers, thirty-second song ideas, and generally fascinating slivers of insight into a creative mind at work.
It's an all-instrumental affair, and as much as we'd love to hear Busta or someone else absolutely kill the time-signature switcheroo in the middle of track 10 ("Time: The Donuts Of The Heart"), the overall effect of raplessness only adds to Donuts's handmade, weeded-out charm. Plus - we don't know if this is only on the promo or what - there are little Jadakiss "ha ha!" noises and Adrock's intro to "It's The New Style" sprinkled throughout. Check for the real version this February, here's the promo tracklisting with some of our quick and pithy observations.
J DILLA - DONUTS
01. Donuts (Outro) - Twelve seconds, half of them taken up by the promo voiceover.
02. Workinonit - Spacey claps and guitar snatches.
03. Waves - like a RZAfied Slum Village album cut. Hypnotic.
04. Light My Fire - Stolen soul records.
05. The New - DC go-go snares!
06. Stop - AKA "Throwback" by Urrrshurrr.
07. People - Bongotronix.
08. The Diff'rence - Lost alternate universe cop show theme.
09. Mash - Loose, chopped up piano with dissonant notes every few bars, then it goes cra-zay at the very end.
10. Time: The Donut of the Heart - See the paragraph above.
11. Glazed - Amped.
12. Airworks - False start was a nice touch.
13. Lightworks - Your brain on drugs. Maybe the best beat on here.
14. Stepson of the Clapper - Let's take it back to the old school!
15. The Twister (Huh, What) - Woah...
16. One Eleven - Violin-y.
17. Two Can Win - This could have been a big song for somebody.
18. Don't Cry - Ooooooh baby.
19. Anti-American Graffiti - Dilla goes Woodstock.
20. Geek Down - ESG and wah-wah heatrock.
21. Thunder - Nice snare.
22. Gobstopper - Nice trumpet.
23. One for Ghost - Was Ghostface really gonna get this? Minimal and awesome.
24. Dilla Says Go - Vibraphone-y.
25. Walkinonit - Echo in effect.
26. The Factory - Woah, Krautrock! Best beat runner-up.
27. U-Love - More soul.
28. Hi. - Slow jamz.
29. Bye. - Slow jamz, continued. Weird and banging.
30. Last Donut of the Night - Cool guitar loop.
31. Donuts (Intro) - "Aaaah! Eeee! Aaaah! Eeee!"