Published Jun 01, 2004After 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 RJs love for using guitar licks in some of his post-Deadringer pieces. The most baffling element with the producers second full-length record has to be the fact that he actually sings. And love songs at that! Its 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 isnt 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 RJs new direction. Since We Last Spoke obviously doesnt sound like a hip-hop record theres 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 tomorrows hip-hop producers will be lifting samples from.
Have you already progressed beyond this record? I wouldnt say that Im 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 Ill 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 Ive 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 dont like people who dont 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 hes in key and doesnt sound like hes just whining. I just want to punch those dudes. I mean, I know Im not the best singer, but on the fucking turntables? Ill go against Thom Yorke. Like how well does Thom Yorke DJ? (Definitive Jux)