Darondo was a Bay area soul and funk singer with an incredibly distinctive raspy voice that blended perfectly with the raw instrumental arrangements he vocalized on. He has recently passed and thankfully his body of work has been reissued.
If one of his songs has left an imprint, it is undoubtedly the stunning Didn’t I, a melancholic soul masterpiece that is both heartstopping and gutwrenching in its honesty and moarnful delivery. The sorrow filled guitar leadup is met by an angelic wave of strings and harmonized ooohs that immediately captivates the listener.
The song’s appeal is universal (used on the series Breaking Bad amogst others) and whenever I’ve played the 45, people have left astounded. Definetly, a desert island record for me, as I still remember the day Bay area soul expert Justin Torres shared his discovery with the vinyl community..; Gilles Peterson comped it and the rest is history. This is truly a track that instantly became timeless and the soundtrack to breakup angst and remorse around the world. Spare a thought for Darondo and thank him for laying his soul on wax.
PS: This Trishes edit which juxtaposes Dilla’s F*ck the Police drums breathes new life into the song resonating all the way to where Darondo now peacefully rests. It was realeased by our good friends in Vienna, the Loud Minority crew as a 7′.