RJD2 Since We Last Spoke

After his skilled work last year with the likes of MF Doom and Diverse, some might be scratching their heads as to why their favourite hip-hop producer has gone and made a psychedelic rock-fuelled recording. Not that Since We Last Spoke is to be totally unexpected, especially with RJ’s love for using guitar licks in some of his post-Deadringer pieces. The most baffling element with the producer’s second full-length record has to be the fact that he actually sings. And love songs at that! It’s completely unheard of for a producer to take centre stage and show off his vocal chords, but RJ manages to pull it off, and this cat actually has a pretty decent voice that works well with the overall softness of Since We Last Spoke. Jams such as "1976” and "To All of You” are downright sexy, using various synthesisers and soul guitar to recreate sensual cuts that will make you want to turn the lights down low. When RJ isn’t serenading the ladies with the slow jams, he throws slap-bass funk jams like "Clean Living” at us, blending handclaps, delicious strings and quiet vocals, effectively used in moderation. He also manages to make ’80s rock anthems like "Through the Walls,” which is a little hard to be down with no matter how keen you are on RJ’s new direction. Since We Last Spoke obviously doesn’t sound like a hip-hop record — there’s no cuts, no thumping beats and definitely no MCs, but RJD2 has managed to create a beautiful number full of soul. Who knows, maybe this is the record tomorrow’s hip-hop producers will be lifting samples from.

Have you already progressed beyond this record? I wouldn’t say that I’m past this album because there are things on this record that were just completely exhaustive and took every ounce of my energy just to pull off. By the time I finished Deadringer there was this thing in the back of my head saying that if I never find another good sample I’ll never make another good record, which is terrifying. There were a few elements of this record that came straight from writing a melody out of thin air. So I feel like I’ve stumbled on a process that is a sustainable way of making music.

Is there a bit of an indie rock side to you? I like some indie rock shit, but most of it is just annoying. I don’t like people who don’t sing in key. I come from the school of thought where you try to sing good, you know? I like the Shins. They sound like an indie rock band, but the dude can sing. At least he’s in key and doesn’t sound like he’s just whining. I just want to punch those dudes. I mean, I know I’m not the best singer, but on the fucking turntables? I’ll go against Thom Yorke. Like how well does Thom Yorke DJ? (Definitive Jux)