Posts tagged RJD2
[2016 Recap] A Few Of My Favorite Things
bless Topsters for assembling this graphic infinitely easier than prior years 

bless Topsters for assembling this graphic infinitely easier than prior years 

Surpriiiiseee!! I'm going to do my year end wrap up differently than most of the ones I've seen. Mostly because I have so many to share, but mostly because I like to let the music do the talking and help you get better connected to the artists themselves. Instead of recaps of each record, I'm going to point you to my favorite tracks so if any of these are new to your ears you'll have the best starting point I can give you. 

Personal Observations for 2016

This was a weird year for me in terms of listening/discovery habits. Instead of fighting against music consumption trends, I decided to play along. I dove head first into my Discover Weekly playlist. I even followed some of my friends' in order to see what I would find and set up an IFTTT recipe to archive everything recommended to me so I could go back and reference it later if I wanted. I barely touched my SKOA inbox, which probably upset a lot of publicists. Anyway, according to Last.FM's data (since Spotify never ended up sending me mine), I listened to 1,919 new artists this year, which is ABSOLUTELY INSANE. But really when you think about how much music Discover Weekly puts in front of you, it's really less than what everyone had the potential to check out (which is 1,560 if you figure we get 30 new tracks a week for a year). I am in the 98th percentile in music listening per Last.FM (meaning I listen to more music than 98% of people who still scrobble to Last.FM) and I found myself panicky and overwhelmed by the sheer volume of music that Spotify thinks I can get through on TOP of the music I already love and want to enjoy, or the random rabbit holes I end up falling into that typically bring me great new baby bands. I guess most people approach Discover Weekly differently than I do, letting artists come and go as they please, but knowing the transformative power that music possesses, I'm always wary of passing on an opportunity to be affected and share those experiences with others. 

It's crazy to think that 20% of what stuck with me this year was randomly generated by The Algorithm and not delivered to me by humans. I almost said that the human delivery was through cosmic forces, but really, if music finds its way to your ears/hearts by friend or by Algorithm, both are cosmic in a way, no? 

This is my struggle at present. I value the connection that happens when a humans experience music together, whether it be by recommendation or attending shows together. I worry this experience will continue to be diminished the more we silo ourselves into our algorithm-based echo chambers. I really hope I'm just out of touch and someone will point me to where this is the opposite, but I can't ignore how self-serving shows feel now every time I treat myself to a Night Out. This has been on my heart/mind too much lately to ignore it, so expect some changes to how things go down on the site (starting with making more time for this now that my new job isn't crazy busy for awhile). 

What music moved you this year? Did you like some of these records but different tracks? I'd honestly love to know so please drop me a comment. Also if you want more than favorite tracks out of me for these records, feel free to bug me on Twitter I am happy to share! 

My Favorite Things Of 2016


Tragame Tierra

Big Black Delta 

Top Tracks: "It's Ok", "RCVR", "Let's Go Home", "I See Fit"

Buy/Listen/Befriend: Spotify | iTunes | Facebook | Twitter



Prism Tats

Prism Tats

Top Tracks: "Pacifist Masochist", "Creep Out // Freak Out", "Death or Fame"

Buy/Listen/Befriend: SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter


Still Waters 


Top Tracks: "Back For More", "2Good4Me",  "My Toy", "Get Lost"

Buy/Listen/Befriend: SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter



Biffy Clyro

Top Tracks: "Flammable", "On A Bang", "Re-arrange" 

Buy/Listen/Befriend: SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter



Choir of Young Believers

Top Tracks: "Face Melting", "Serious Lover", "Jer Seg Dig"

Buy/Listen/Befriend: SpotifyiTunes | Facebook 




Top Tracks: "Horizon", "Epoch", "Division" 

Buy/Listen/Befriend: SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter

Warm On A Cold Night


Top tracks: "Someone That Loves You", "Warm On A Cold Night", "It Ain't Wrong Loving You", "Good Together"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter

Figure EP


Top Tracks: "We Lost", "Figure"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunesFacebook | Twitter


Culture Abuse

Top Tracks: "So Jealous", "Dream On", "Peace On Earth" 

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Bandcamp |Facebook | Twitter

Man About Town

Mayer Hawthorne

Top Tracks: "Breakfast In Bed", "Love Like That", "Out of Pocket", "Cosmic Love"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunesFacebook | Twitter


Kishi Bashi

Top Tracks: "Ode To My Next Life", "Statues In A Gallery", "Can't Let Go, Juno", "Say Yeah"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter



Top Tracks: "Tick", "Shithole", "Coo Coo", "One More"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  Spotify iTunes | Facebook | Twitter



Top Tracks: "Fascination", "Speed Racer"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter

Above Water


Top Tracks: "I Really Love You", "Stay For Awhile", "Feel So Good"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter



St. Lucia

Top Tracks: "Winds Of Change", "Dancing On Glass", "Help Me Run Away"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter



Top Tracks: "Don't Hurt Yourself", "Formation", "All Night" 

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  Tidal | Facebook | Twitter

For All We Know


Top Tracks: "Girlfriend", "Bad Blood", "Fool To Love"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter

New York Fascist Week


Top Tracks: "I'm Still Waiting", "Gun Range", "Auf Wiedersehen"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter



Top Tracks: "Electric Chair", "Ginsberg", "Shipping Yard"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter

Legend EP

Magic Sword

Top Tracks: "The Curse", "Uprising"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter

Dame Fortune


Top Tracks: "Peace of What", "We Come Alive"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter

Sweet Addiction EP 


Top Tracks: "Sweet Addiction", "Make It Easy", "Golden Age"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter


David Bowie

Top Tracks: "Blackstar", "Lazarus", "I Can't Give Everything Away"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter

The Impossible Kid

Aesop Rock

Top Tracks: "Rings", "Dorks", "Blood Sandwich"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  Spotify | iTunes | Facebook | Twitter



Top Tracks: "Kill Our Way To Heaven", "Tell Me The Same", "When You Loved Me Least"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  Spotify | iTunes | Facebook | Twitter


You Won't

Top Tracks: "Yah Yah Yah", "1-4-5", "No Divide"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter

Cut The Body Loose


Top Tracks: "Kurt Cobain", "Running Away From God"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter

Calm Down

Future Unlimited

Top Tracks: "Calm Me Down", "Tame"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  Spotify | iTunes | Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter

Death Of A Bachelor

Panic! At The Disco

Top Tracks: "Golden Days", "Death Of A Bachelor" 

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter



Top Tracks: "Runaway", "Party Line" 

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter



Top Tracks: "I Wait For You", "Bad Girl", "Down On Me"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter



Top Tracks: "Arena", "Go Time", "Destination Breakdown" 

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter

Building A Beginning

Jamie Lidell

Top Tracks: "Don't Let Me Let You Go", "I Live To Make You Smile", "Walk Right Back"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter

Who Sold My Generation

Night Beats

Top Tracks: "Sunday Mourning", "Right/Wrong", "Bad Love"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter

Alas Salvation


Top Tracks: "Harbour The Feeling", "Victorious", "Alas Salvation"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter

[Night Out] OMG CMJ 2014 Day One: Son Little

Day one CMJ is always a slow start for me and this year was so exception to that rule. I had to endure the day job before my 3 day vacation of bands, booze, and badge friends forever officially kicked off. All that said, you bet your sweet ass the second that 5:30pm rolled around that I was out the door running as fast I could to meet up with Sprout who was patiently waiting for me at our safe harbor that folks like to call No Fun. When the time came for us to treat our earholes we sauntered our way down to Rockwood Music Hall stage 2. The room was reasonably full, enough for Sprout to dart around fairly easily to take some snaps.

The last time I saw Aaron Livingston sing in person it was with RJD2 for their project Icebird. As much as I enjoyed The Abandoned Lullaby, there were some moments where it felt like Livingston's vocals were an afterthought to what was going on in the production. That was fortunately not the case for his new solo project, Son Little. His voice rang out loud and strong to the red velvety backdrop that are the walls of Rockwood Stage 2. His accompanyment were a keyboardist/bassist and drummer, who elevated the emotional twangs in Livingston's voice. In addition to playing cuts I had heard before like, "The River", "Cross My Heart", and the heartwrenching "Your Love Will Blow Me Away When My Heart Aches", he played some new tracks that will appear on his upcoming debut album that is coming "soon" (his words).

We should have stayed around after the show to try and pry more info from him, but between us being starving and me thinking that I was going to a French nightclub for a showcase that I ended up being a day early for, that didn't happen. Needless to say, it was the best way to start OMG CMJ 2014.

Have a listen to "Your Love Will Blow Me Away When My Heart Aches" below.

[Listen] Stream RJD2's New Single "Her Majesty’s Socialist Request"

RJD2 described the sounds on his upcoming fifth album More Is Than Isn't as "ranging from subdued jazz-tinged pieces to bombastic club music, and a lot of funk in between." Want to hear an example of this? "Her Majesty's Socialist Request" is the first piece we've heard off the LP and it brings a lot of different influences to the table. The offering spins an elaborate web of sounds, from gritty guitar riffs to Middle Eastern Ney flute to intricate, glitchy synthesizers to jazz piano. It's pretty inconsistent, unsure of where it wants to go, but it's worth hearing how RJ weaves this instrumental number together.

More Is Than Isn't is out on October 8th.

More Is Than Isn’t Tracklist:
01. Suite 1
02. Temperamental feat. Phonte Coleman
03. Behold, Numbers!
04. Her Majesty’s Socialist Request
05. A Lot of Night Ahead of You
06. Bathwater feat. P. Blackk
07. Milk Tooth
08. Suite 2
09. Winter Isn’t Coming
10. See You Leave feat. STS and Khari Mateen
11. Got There, Sugar?
12. Love and Go feat. Aaron Livingston
13. Descended From Myth
14. Dirty Hands
15. It All Came To Me In A Dream feat. Blueprint
16. Suite 3

[News] RJD2 Announces New Album 'More Is Than Isn't'

Hell yes, RJD2 is back! The prominent producer has kept himself busy since releasing his fourth LP The Colossus back in 2010, but he has returned with the announcement of a proper follow-up. On October 8th, RJ will release More Is Than Isn't, his fifth studio album.

While the album does boast some impressive vocal talent—including Aaron Livingston, Phonte Coleman, Khari Mateen, Blueprint, P. Blackk, and STS—it is described as a departure for the producer. He states, "In ways, all of my previous albums were in some fashion striving to achieve something more than being just instrumental music. This is the first RJD2 album I’ve made that actually revels in a relative lack of vocals."

More Is Than Isn't will incorporate "new production techniques and approaches while still keeping an eye on the basic aesthetic that has always driven him: soulful, melodic, beat-oriented music." And, as a whole, the album will be "tied together by three instrumental pieces that are different explorations of the same harmonic theme. It captures a dynamic range not seen before on an RJD2 album, ranging from subdued jazz-tinged pieces to bombastic club music, and a lot of funk in between."

I for one cannot wait to hear what RJ has in store. Check out the tracklisting below and stay posted for more on this new LP.

More Is Than Isn’t Tracklist:
01. Suite 1
02. Temperamental (feat. Phonte Coleman)
03. Behold, Numbers!
04. Her Majesty’s Socialist Request
05. A Lot of Night Ahead of You
06. Bathwater (feat. P. Blackk)
07. Milk Tooth
08. Suite 2
09. Winter Isn’t Coming
10. See You Leave (feat. STS and Khari Mateen)
11. Got There, Sugar?
12. Love and Go (feat. Aaron Livingston)
13. Descended From Myth
14. Dirty Hands
15. It All Came To Me In A Dream (feat. Blueprint)
16. Suite 3

[Listen] Kenna - "Politics (prod. by RJD2)"

I don't know why Kenna has been sitting on this track for so long. No doubt that since Election Day here in the US is around the corner the timing is fitting, so I guess I'm staring at the answer write in the face. Either way, it could not have come at a better time for me, considering how rough this week has been for me and everyone in New York City.

"Politics", produced by RJD2 and featuring Joanna Levesque on backing vocals, is poised, powerful, and earnest. Through the muck of vapidity that has been slowly trying to devour the music industry, Kenna rises to the occasion and delivers a performance with the sophistication from his New Sacred Cow days. It speaks to all of us who are so burnt out on what politics and much of our society has become. As you carefully focus in on the actual words coming out of Kenna's mouth, it's hard not to agree with the majority of what he's saying (and I say majority only because I haven't spent days dissecting through the song at multiple levels). The delicate phrasing and tenderness in his voice for this track and throughout the rest of his catalog are where Kenna shines the brigthest. Having said all of that, RDJ2's contribution to this is equally as important to the equation. Despite the obvious minor synthetic tweaks, the overall feel of the song is very warm and organic. This song leaves me daydreaming of what a whole album with this kind of approach would sound like. Maybe not necessarily all at this subdued state, but you know what? You definitely wouldn't hear me complaining.

Land To Air Chronicles II: Imitation Is Suicide, the second of the three part EP series is due out at the end of this month (November). After hearing this song, saying that I'm incredibly anxious for it to drop would be an understatement.

[Download] Divine Fits - "Would That Not Be Nice" (RJD2 Remix)

Those that know me know i'm one of the biggest RJD2 stans out there. So when seeing that RJ remixed Divine Fits "Would That Not Be Nice" in my inbox, you can imagine how ape shit I went. I pretty much summerized it as Spoon x RJD2 but it wasn't the typical production you would expect from RJ this time around. The remix takes the already dancey original and adds some simple drums and signature synths which feel more like a LCD Soundsystem track than an RJD2 track.

Don't get me wrong, i'm not hating the track at all. I just expected a heavier hip hop drum driven track. Nevertheless, its still a great to listen to despite my personal feelings of the remix. Take a listen to remix below and if you havent already listened to/picked up Divine Fits' debut LP A Thing Called Divine Fits, you should do so now. LIKE RIGHT NOW.

[Download] MHz Legacy - "Satisfied" Feat. Slug (of Atmosphere) (Prod. By Rjd2)

Back in the day before Rjd2 was "THE RJD2" that we know and love now he was DJ of the Columbus, Ohio rap collective MHz which was fomed by Copywrite, Jakki Da Motamouth, Tage (Proto) Future, RJ and the late great Camu Tao. The group's first and only album Table Scraps is one of my favorite hip hop albums which introduced me to Copywrite and Camu, as well as some of the first RJD2 productions. Now the collective have reformed under the name MHz Legacy in honor of their fallen brother Camu and are set to release their new self-titled album on October 30th, MHz Legacy, which marks the group's first album in a decade.

The new LP features 17 new cuts from the MHz crew with RJD2 producing 6 new cuts and also features guest appearances from some of hip hop's best past and present like Danny Brown, Blu, Slug (of Atmosphere), ILL BILL, Slaine, Icebird's Aaron Livingston and Oh No, as well as a number of never-before-heard verses from the late Camu Tao. With new Camu verses and new RJ tracks alone, I know this album is going to have my money thrown at it. If that doesn't convince you to do the same take a listen to this album cut titled "Satisfied" featuring Slug of Atmosphere and is produced by RJD2. 

MHz Legacy's self titled drops next week 10/30/12 via Copywrite's own Man Bites Dog label. Peep the tracklist below and pick this up when it drops.

1. Accidentally On Purpose (Prod. By Rob Stern) 
2. Hindsight (1998) Ft. Playdough (Prod. By RJD2) 
3. Four Player Mode (Prod. By RJD2) 
4. Out Of Room (Prod. By RJD2) 
5. Spaceship Ft. Danny Brown (Prod. By Harry Fraud) 
6. Soul Train (Of Thought) Ft. Oh No The Disrupt (Of Gangrene) (Prod. By !llmind) 
7. Addictionary Ft. ILL BILL & Slaine (Of La Coka Nostra) (Prod. By Stu Bangas) 
8. Gone! (Prod. By Surock) 
9. Obituaries (Prod. By Marco Polo) 
10. Columbus Diss Patch Ft. Dom (Prod. By J Rawls) 
11. Mass Temple Ft. Steve From Middle Distance Runner (Prod. By Jason Rose) 
12. Y'all Don't Know (Prod. By D1) 
13. Yellow & Blue Ft. Blu (Prod. By Surock) 
14. Satisfaction Ft. Slug (Of Atmosphere) (Prod. By RJD2) 
15. Tero Smith Ft. Aaron Livingston (Of Icebird) (Prod. By RJD2) 
16. Somewhere (2099) (Prod. By RJD2) 
17. Mechanical Me (Prod. By Jason Rose)

[SKOA Presents] Beats For Daze #2 (All Hallows Edition)

Once again back is the incredible, your neighborhood friendly Rocko Rock with a brand new installment of Beats For Daze. For those unfamiliar with the series, BFD is monthly playlist compiled based around producers (the unsung heroes of hip hop) who create some of my favorite head nodding tracks of the past and current along with some unreleased goodies as well, all rolled up into one nice hour plus mixture for your ear drums' enjoyment. I know that sounds like I just tried to pitch a TV show or product, sorry. Those that missed out on our first installment of the series (which hit 10,000 plays in month on 8tracks!) should check it out here.

Being October, we felt necessary to dedicate this month's mixture to the upcoming holiday, Halloween. That's right, this month we got 31 tracks of goodness all inspired from the most spooky fun day of the year. Don't worry the always obvious choice, Michael Jackson's "Thriller" will not make an appearance on the mixtape although I'm a bit sad I didn't just add Vincent Price's epic laugh. But I did find some nice a nice Halloween vinyl in my record crate to atmosphere of the total mix. It's a bit cheesy but whatever. Among these tracks we got some classics from Danger Mouse when he was known Pelican City, Dan The Automator when he just went by Automator, Portishead, Massive Attack, The Herbaliser and more. With the inclusion of some newer tunes from The Gaslamp Killer, Thavius Beck as well as others and one of my favorite creepy DJ Shadow jams "Give Me Back The Nights", a track so evil I had to take a picture of myself listening to it, which you view below. So set a spell for awhile and check out the full mix in the player above.

And if you are still reading this, I like to say thank you for taking the time and listening to our Beats For Daze playlist, it really means a lot to myself and SKoA. We're working on something super special for the next month as well as some more awesome things for the following months. So make sure you check out other mixtapes and if you are on follow us and spread the good music around. Have an awesome Halloween!

<3 Rocko loves you.