D33J’s music has always been good, but he only recently settled into his own after putting out EP’s in 2013 that were solid but not always distinguishable from a lot of the sample-heavy, lo fi music a lot of electronic artists were putting out at the time that all seemed to be influenced by the chillwave boom/80sish resurgence that bedroom producers put out in the late aughts and around 2010 and 2011.
I felt like D33J found his voice on his 2017 album, Death Valley Oasis, which is mostly instrumental with some vocal features from people like Corbin, a 22 singer-songwriter whose music skews towards R&B and emo. More importantly, he used to go by Spooky Black when he was 16. He used to awkwardly wear du rags as a white guy from Minnesota, which is a rabbit hole that’s well worth your time. Death Valley Oasis though seems more focused and consistent throughout. Parts of it feel like he’s laying down the atmospheric emotional guitar-laden stuff that people like Mura Masa just put out this year, which seems to be coming into vogue now.
He’s a member of the WeDidIt Collective that includes a bunch of other good artists like Shlohmo, Swan Lingo and Deb Never, who are all very good too.
Here’s a couple of my favorite D33J albums, EP’s and mixes with minimal vocals.