J Dilla - How humanized a machine
Back in October I went to see a Q&A with Amp Fiddler at Amsterdam Dance Event. He talked about introducing J Dilla to the MPC, and played some OG files he received from Dilla decades ago: deconstructing Dilla beats for the—shamelessly small—crowd of 30-ish people. And by way of the iconic Slum Village tracks “Players”, “The Look Of Love” & “Fall In Love”, Amp gave a Dilla for dummies crash course on why his beats sound so musical, warm and full of soul.
This new video by Vox made me think of that lecture: J Dilla Beats 101. The video is a 10-minute introduction on how J Dilla humanized the MPC3000. It’s a basic yet good watch on how he didn’t quantize his beats, insights on sampling Gap Mangione, Giorgio Moroder & The Escorts, and extending samples, using track examples such as “E=MC2”, “Fall In Love”, “Lazer Gunne Funke” & The Pharcyde’s “Runnin'”.
As drum machine pioneer Roger Linn puts it in the original MPC3000 manual: “(…) In this light, I like to think of the MPC3000 as the piano or violin of our time, and of you as an MPC3000ist.” J Dilla is truly the embodiment of that.