The horror. The horror. I’m not sure if Marlon Brando would utter these lines after catching a whiff of Rjd2’s second full-length release. But Rjd2’s The Horror shimmies and struts with refreshingly vibrant and flavorful home-cooked beats and mixes that could perk up any old curmudgeon.
It might take a Big Mac and a strawberry shake to get Brando to grumble anything beyond the bellowing vibrations of him licking his chops, so you must excuse the Colonel: Even he would agree there’s not much to fear in The Horror.
The Columbus, Ohio-bred DJ/producer sure knows how to whip up a subtly moving storm of an album, even if it consists of a few remixes from Rjd2’s debut, Dead Ringer. It’s got a jangling, groovy (but not static) funk energy whipped up with some snazzy-jazzy anthems dropped in at all the right intervals on the turntable.
It’s tangy. It’s distinct. It’s like slurping pink lemonade through a bendy straw at the beach on a mildly hazy day.
Occasional rap tracks surround convincing instrumentals that seem to emanate from a dark and dreary orchestra pit. Though all the tunes sparkle like a snaggletoothed feline, outstanding compositions include “The Horror,” “Ghostwriter Remix,” “Bus Stop Bitties,” “Good Times Roll Pt. 1” and “Final Frontier Instrumental”
Rjd2 unquestionably roams off in a concrete jungle of his own rangy style. When critics unjustly lambasted him for ripping off DJ Shadow’s symphonic elements on Dead Ringer, the accusations looked like bogus trifles from squeamish nitpickers. Rjd2 displays a darker, rougher, humbler and more diverse scope on The Horror that Shadow can only hope to equal.
[Eliav Appelbaum is sipping out of a bendy straw right now. Except it ain’t lemonade this time.]