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RJD2
SINCE WE LAST SPOKE
(Definitive Jux)

When you consider all the available evidence, it stands to reason that there are fewer DJs in Columbus, where RJD2 hails from, than in New York City, where hip-hop lives its daily life. So if Since We Last Spoke, RJís second album, seems more distinctive than you might a expect a mostly instrumental hip-hop record to sound these days, donít forget that the producer had less competition in mining the dusty crates of central Ohioís record stores for source material.

Which isnít to suggest that the tapestry heís woven from those samples isnít an accomplishment all its own. Deadringer, RJís celebrated 2002 debut, earned exactly as many comparisons to DJ Shadow as its title seemed to imply; Since We Last Spoke still bears the influence of instrumental hip-hopís Gandalf, but it also sees RJ pointing his splicing-and-dicing toward a cooled-out funk rock less sober and more pliable than Shadowís epic soundtracks. The albumís best tracks are the least showy. "To All of You" layers fruity Pat MethenyĖstyle fretboard runs over narcoleptic organ ooze. "Iced Lightning" reboots Daft Punkís reboot of arpeggiated hair metal as 16-bit video-game noise. And "Through the Walls," with a proudly Everyguy vocal by RJ himself, makes you wonder why Ric Ocasek never produced Kraftwerk.

(RJD2 appears this Friday, September 17, downstairs at the Middle East, 480 Massachusetts Avenue in Central Square, with Diplo and Rob Sonic opening; call 617-864-EAST.)

BY MIKAEL WOOD


Issue Date: September 17 - 23, 2004
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