Pitchfork (Website) - "[A]dmirers of this brilliantly inventive musician will find much to rhyme over, get inspired by, or simply bounce to on Dillatronic."
Liner Note Author: Ma Dukes.
Curated by his mother, Ma Dukes, Dillatronic offers 41 rare instrumentals from the late Detroit hip-hop producer James "J Dilla" Yancey, with the focus being on his "electronic music influences," who are as much Kraftwerk as George Clinton. Case in point, the funky, slinky track seven included here -- none of the tracks are titled -- which slowly rocks back and forth like Clinton's solo hit "Atomic Dog," while the 26th cut comes off as a cross between Madlib and "Maggot Brain" with Funkadelic guitars spinning and swaying in a psychedelic manner. The latter track also strays from the "electronic music influences" concept, which happens with about a quarter of the album's tracks. Good thing too, as the chugging and organic track three is a much bigger surprise than the half-speed redo of "Trans Europe Express" that is track 20, plus the drifting, Janet Jackson-esque closer has little to do with electro but is likely to become a favorite with the target audience (a combination of the Dilla faithful, underground beatheads, and amateur MCs looking for mixtape productions). While the collection doesn't come with the purposeful feel of Donuts, it flows extremely well for a beat tape, and one released nine years after the artist passed. Add to that the amount of new flavors and unexpected twists (Was track 12 influenced by early dubstep? What was the plan for the dark and dense track 28?) plus crisp, clean recordings that beat the bootlegs, and Dillatronic is a necessary pickup for fans. ~ David Jeffries