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Dead Ringer

4.3 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 39.69
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 24 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Definitive Jux
  • ASIN: B000068QSF
  • In-Print Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #85,690 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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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

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Audio CD
I first heard RjD2, alongside with Mr. Lif and The Gift of Gab, in Philadelphia opening up for DJ Shadow. Shadow put on a marvelous show, but the highlight of my evening was hearing The Horror live. The crowd was basically nonplussed after being smacked in the face by such a freakily galvanizing song. It was quite intense. Some other notable numbers he played live that made it onto Dead ringer inlude the haunting "Ghostwriter", the Mobyesque "Good Times Roll Pt. 2" and the super-sweet "2 More Dead". Thankfully, Rj is an artist who is capable of translating his thrilling, live sound to record, and Dead ringer is a fine example of a recording that possesses the vim and vigor of a live show and also the finesse and tempering of a good studio album. Running well over an hour, Dead ringer also manages to capture my interest for the entire duration of play. My least favorite tracks are those that showcase Rj's rapping label mates, but those numbers are kept to a minimum, so they don't detract too much from the overall quality of the recording. Other worthwhile songs include the peculiar, Orbital-like "The Proxy", the Shadowesque "Chicken-Bone Circuit", and the soulful closer, "Work". Real hip-hop is hard to come by nowadays, but Dead ringer is as firmly rooted in hip-hop mores as any good rap album of the last five years. If you're looking for a DJ who spins from the heart, RjD2 is you're man.
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Format: Audio CD
I find it humorous that reviewers actually gave this album 1 star, because it was not like Sage Francis or DJ Shadow. I also remember RJD2 stating in an interview that he wanted to make something so creative that it would piss off the average, closed-minded hip hop listener, ala De La Soul Is Dead. If you are this kind of person, who only thinks hip hop should be one thing, than please stay away. If you are interested in hearing some of the most creative hip hop instrumental music ever created, then buy this album. The beats RJD2 conjured up from innumerous samples are diverse and lovely. Explaining the sound of the album is dificult, because the style and choice of samples jump around alot from track to track. Samples include everything from rock and roll, to soul, to old movie scores, to god knows what else. However, the flow of the album is never sacrifieced and this great diversification of music keeps the listener interested and entertained. A number of the tracks though are bluesey hip hop instrumentals created through layered sampling. I have never heard anything like this before, and boy is it lovely. The only posible complaint is that I think guest MCs, Jakki and Copy-Write, come off as whiney and anoying as they spend most of thier time on the mic complaining about the status of underground hip hop. Blueprint does a much better job, laying down some rhymes more deserving on RJD2's wonderful beats. Thier collaborative album, Soul Position - 8 Million Stories, is also quite excelent. I believe not only will RJD2 be remembered for his wonderful instrumentals as displayed on this album, but also for future collaborations with MCs. He is no doubt one of the best producers in hip hop in general. He could very well break into the mainstream one day, and if that happens that sector of hip hop will definantly be better off for it.
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Format: Audio CD
RJD2's music is a collage of cut-and-paste hip-hop that combines
disparate elements to make for soulful, moody portraits of the
world. Born in Eugene, OR, on May 27, 1976, he moved to Columbus,
OH, a few years later and was raised there. He first busted out onto
the hip-hop scene in 1998 -- a time when producers were emerging
from the shadows to seize the spotlight -- as the DJ/producer for
the Columbus-based group Megahertz. MHz had two 12" singles released
on Bobbito Garcia's Fondle 'Em Records and the group was mentioned
in Vibe Magazine's "History of Hip Hop."
In 2000, RJD2 produced Copywrite's debut single, "Holier Than Thou,"
on Rawkus Records. In the spring of 2001, he made his first formal
appearance as a solo artist on the Def Jux Presents... compilation,
proving he could hold his own alongside such luminaries as Company
Flow, El-P, Cannibal Ox, and Aesop Rock. RJD2's debut album, Dead
Ringer, followed on Def Jux in 2002. One of the best underground hip-
hop releases of the year, it melded dirty samples and a classic
approach to song structure for an end result that gave DJ Shadow, DJ
Spooky, and Moby a run for their money.
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