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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Most recent customer reviews
Great album! Very diverse and interesting music. Ghostwriter is what got me into this album and I love the songs in it more each time I listen.Published 3 months ago by Torin G.
Amazing; not too many modern releases have such an amazing groove when exported to vinyl, but this is amazing. I love RJD2 and believe this is his best album. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Sploff
This is a really fantastic album. Certainly Rjd2's finest. The packaging is pretty bare bones, but that's fine with me.Published on May 3 2014 by Dustin
. . . 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. Read morePublished on July 1 2004 by Michael Pemulis
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. Read morePublished on June 22 2004 by Kurt Lennon
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 morePublished on May 23 2004 by Lolo Sykes
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 morePublished on April 27 2004 by Mathan Retik
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 morePublished on April 3 2004 by J. LaCour