Since they first started breaking the internet with their hyperarticulate strain of beat music, DOMi and JD Beck have gradually burrowed their way into the jazz mainstream. Or maybe it's that the mainstream has sidled up to them? However you want to put it, there's no doubt that DOMi, the ponytailed keyboard savant born Domitille Degalle (in Metz, France) and Beck, the mop-headed drum virtuoso (born and raised in the suburbs around Dallas, Texas) are now turning heads beyond the funhouse perimeter of viral stardom.
"SMiLE" is the first single from their full-length debut as a joint release from Blue Note and Anderson .Paak's label, APES*** INC. It's a sharp distillation of the DOMi & JD Beck ethos, which skews toward a technical aplomb so nonchalant as to feel cocky, and a youthful insolence that might be offensive if it weren't so obviously playful. DOMi's synth melody, with its blippy Nintendo flair, melds seamlessly with Beck's drumming, on the slouchy end of the pocket, à la J Dilla. A video for the tune — directed by .Paak, who puts in a cameo — imagines Mac DeMarco as a profanely cantankerous 100-year-old jazz legend. You'd think Beck and DOMi would approach him with all due irreverence, but what's on display is a form of love: not a smirk, but a smile.