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J Dilla Does the ‘Safety Dance’

Ahead of the May 10 release of J Dilla’s Donut Shop — an instrumental mini-album being packaged with donut-shaped turntable slipmats and production software from Serato — comes “Safety Dance,” a previously unreleased Dilla track that is, yes, an interpolation of Men Without Hat’s deathless classic. Dilla toned down the original’s jauntiness (and, you know, the words), slicing in some subtle menace via a droning undercurrent of fuzzy bass; also, he did a much better job of programming the drum machine than the lucky guy doing the same for MWH in the early eighties. Still, it’s mostly compelling for the novelty of the whole thing (and, in that regard, isn’t necessarily any better than, say, this). But, seeing as it’s Dilla, it’ll also surely be co-opted for dozens of potentially awesome mixtape tracks in the coming weeks. You’ve been warned!












[Stones Throw via Gorilla vs. Bear]

Photo: Roger Erickson