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Dead Ringer

Rjd2 Audio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 33.70
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Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Product Details

1. The Horror
2. Salud
3. Smoke and Mirrors
4. Good Times Roll Pt. 2
5. Final Frontier
6. Ghostwriter
7. Cut Out to FL
8. F.H.H.
9. Shot in the Dark
10. Chicken-Bone Circuit
11. The Proxy
12. 2 More Dead
13. Take the Picture Off
14. Silver Fox
15. June
16. Work

Product Description


There's a mellifluous, melodic feel to RJD2's production on Deadringer that enables him to easily straddle the US/European divide between hip-hop and trip hop, even coming close to the intricate and lucid inventiveness of the Avalanches in places.

Ohio's RJD2 first dropped his wholesome brand of bumpin' beats on Bobbito's Fondle 'Em Records (as producer for MegaHertz), before appearing later on labels such as Rawkus and Def Jux. It's the latter label that has decided to support his talents full-time, and judging by this debut solo joint, it's a very good decision.

Keeping his musical references as wide as possible while retaining a distinctly b-boy soul, RDJ2 casually bunches together disparate sounds and styles--funk, hip-hop, soul, jazz, reggae, blues, industrial grunge, acoustic folk, indie rock--into a fibrous and free-wheeling whole. There's straight up hip-hop for the heads on "Final Frontier", "F.H.H." and "June" (where he teams up with MCs Blueprint, Jakki da Motamouth and Copewrite respectively) but Deadringer is mostly about the producer's experiments with cinematic beatscapes, funny funksters and down-tempo nods, all approached with a twinge of oddness and some deliciously flippant humour. --Paul Sullivan

Product Description

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic album May 3 2014
By Dustin
Format:LP Record|Verified Purchase
This is a really fantastic album. Certainly Rjd2's finest. The packaging is pretty bare bones, but that's fine with me.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Pleasure for ALL Underground Hip-Hop Fans Nov. 11 2003
Format:Audio CD
In 1996 DJ Shadow '...Endtroduced' himself with his debut wide release album, a compilation of sampled rhythms. '...Endtroducing' strived to create the perfect concoction between beat and melody, and succeeded, in a way. DJ Shadow relied heavily on the listeners' understanding of the intricacies of turntablism and sampling. To an average listener, the album might have seemed shallow and monotonous. It is unfair to criticize '...Endtroducing' for its simplicity though, due to the fact that in terms of complexity it ranks up there with the best of Q-Bert and Peanut Butter Wolf (with whom Shadow worked numerously). Yet when it comes to comparing Shadow's album to Rjd2's 2002 release 'Deadringer', it is necessary to point out that, though similar in their approaches to producing beats, Rjd2 adds enough variation and surprises to his sampling masterwork to please a wider audience.
Take the introductory 'The Horror', for example, which was released later as a single. Darkly atmospheric, the track contains no lyrics. 'The Horror' might even stimulate the desire to augment it with a freestyle (if you're not good at it, don't ruin the song and practice over Big Tymers instrumentals, brother). Its energy and structure brings to mind 'Midnight in a Perfect World' from '...Endtroducing'. Rjd2's lack of pretension and homing in on affecting simplicity distinguishes 'The Horror', along with distinctively excellent instrumentals, such as 'Ghostwriter' with its scratchy vinyl guitar that flows into an astounding trombone chorus; 'Cut Out to FL', which starts off quitely lyrical, builds up suspense and explodes with a helluva beat/scratching; and 'Silver Fox', that's bound to eerily dig its way under the skin with its jagged beat and hallucinatory Asian vibe.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My oh my . . . July 1 2004
Format:Audio CD
. . . is this good. Instrumental hip-hop is, I suppose, one possible label for this. And sure, there's some echoes of DJ Shadow here, perhaps a touch of Mr. Scruff, and weirdly enough, I hear hints - just hints mind you - of some of the solo stuff put out by Liam Howlett of, *sigh*, the Prodigy (specifically the Dirtchamber Sessions which admittedly is more of a mix album than anything else and which probably shouldn't be mentioned in the same breath as an album like DeadRinger, but I still here some similarities. Sorry.)

But similarities aside, this isn't much like any of the aforementioned artists. It's one of the more unique things I've heard in a while. It's your typical collage of breakbeats and samples and odd melodies. And where RJD2 really shines is in the last element: melodies. Yes, his beats are, putting it mildly, awesome. But what stood out for me is just how tuneful and finely crafted his songs (yes, songs) are. This guy has an ear for melody, and creates tracks that bear this out.
And the songs are oddly rousing, anthemic even. Listening to 'The Horror,' I kept wanting to throw up my hands at my pointless 9-5 life, and go off and have some sort of adventure or something. If that makes sense. It's stirring music, is what I guess I'm trying to say.
The only downside to this album, in my personal opinion, are the non-instrumental tracks. Not to say that the MCing is weak - it's not - just that RJD2 is so good that I bemoan being distracted from his work by the lyrics. But that's a pretty minor quibble, and doesn't make this any less great of an album.
Have a listen and go have an adventure or something.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing June 23 2004
Format:Audio CD
Being compared to DJ Shadow might have had an advantage for RJD2: I doubt that his affiliation with Def Jux would be heavy enough to translate into the success he has seen. Not to mention that he is not very similiar to DJ Shadow: sure, they both construct hip-hop based music from diverse samples, but RJD2 is admittedly more hip-hop, in small measure because of the appearance of three MCs on three songs. Of these, "June" featuring Copywrite is the best one: not only is his verse touching (a tribute to his dead father, who died in the month Write was born in), but the instrumental interlude is sublime, with classical guitar and synth. The other standouts include the opener "The Horror", with its addictive, menacing synth line that sounds like an alien invasion, and "2 More Dead" - not the gangsta workout you'd expect. No, it didn't "change the world" as El-P claimed, but it is a fine album on its own accord.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The Best Hip Hop Instrumental CD Ever June 16 2004
Format:Audio CD
Now I haven't heard a lot of hip hop instrumental CDs so I'm not well-versed enough to definitively say that this is the best. But I've heard DJ Shadow and Amon Tobin's supposed best works, and neither hold a candle to 'Dead Ringer'. First off all, both of the aforementioned works fall into the hip hop category but really aren't hip hop. They sacrifice the essence of hip hop for creativity (which doesn't work in my opinion). RJD2 keeps it true to hip hop. The best track 'Ghostwriter' is an amazing beat with an awesome horns sample that blows out of your speakers. And while many complain about RJD2's fellow Def Jux record mates rapping over some of his beats, I actually enjoy 'F.H.H.' featuring Jakki da Mota Mouth and 'Final Frontier' featuring Blueprint. While the beats are definitely well thought out and are creative, this still isn't as strong as I would have liked it to be, with no songs coming close to 'Ghostwriter'. But it still a solid CD and is worth a listen for any hip hop fan.
(3/5 mics)
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Unique and Rewarding
I first heard RjD2, alongside with Mr. Lif and The Gift of Gab, in Philadelphia opening up for DJ Shadow. Read more
Published on June 8 2004 by Blackberries
5.0 out of 5 stars Calling all hip hop heads!
This is the best collection of instrumentals I've ever heard. This white boy from Oregan knows how to get down with the beats. Read more
Published on May 23 2004 by Lolo Sykes
5.0 out of 5 stars Not that similair to Endtroducing
I don't understand why everybody compares this album to DJ Shadow's Endtroducing. I see a similarity, but this album is definitely taken in a more hip-hop direction. Read more
Published on April 28 2004 by Mathan Retik
5.0 out of 5 stars Rjd2's dead ringer: material for your head to bob to
I first heard of Rjd2 through Aesop Rock - after listening to this unique rap that was so out of the ordinary, I delved deep into the underground/indie rap scene to find Rjd2,... Read more
Published on April 3 2004 by J. LaCour
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!!!!
A Great Mixture of Hip hop, Soul, Blues, and rap!
Published on Feb. 22 2004 by Sam
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful album.
I find it humorous that reviewers actually gave this album 1 star, because it was not like Sage Francis or DJ Shadow. Read more
Published on Feb. 21 2004 by BiolanteX
1.0 out of 5 stars YAWN
i honestly can't remember the last time i was as disappointed with the purchase of a cd as i was when i purchased Rjd2's "dead ringer". Read more
Published on Feb. 20 2004 by Gift Card Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Stellar
The definition of the word stellar on dictionary.com is a) of or relating to a star performer, and b) outstanding. Read more
Published on Feb. 13 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars why the shadow comparism?
This is a really poor cd. I really can't understand why all the reviews here are comparing this record to Endtroducing by DJ SHADOW. This doesn't even come close. Read more
Published on Feb. 5 2004 by Daniel R Ashton
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