Lately RJD2 hasn’t been able to catch a break, critically. After being called the next DJ Shadow, he distanced himself from instrumental hip-hop for various styles of pop experimentation. I’ll be the first to defend a few of The Third Hand’s catchy pop tracks, but won’t deny that I miss the RJD2 of days gone by. So it excites me that he’s dropped a very cool record called We Are The Doorways as The Insane Warrior through his label RJ’s Electrical Connections. The record is up to stream on bandcamp now, and it’s also embedded below. I’ll let this excerpt from the site speak for the music:
A strictly instrumental affair, the album “We Are The Doorways” was loosely inspired by horror and sci-fi film scores of the wonderfully fruitful period of 1976-1984. Several things mark this record – for one, there is a departure from the concise nature of most modern pop-oriented records. […] While heavily leaning on big, expansive analog synth sounds, angular rhythms, and blissful ambient passages, the record still maintains the attention to groove that RJD2’s label is known for. At times jazzy, psychedelic, and introspective, the exploratory nature of the music shines through.
After a few listens I can say that in my opinion We Are The Doorways is the best record RJ has put out since Since We Last Spoke. The horror movie synths and jazzy experimental moments seem to have invigorated him, because his music sounds exciting again. Make sure you give this record a shot — even if The Colossus and The Third Hand left you feeling ambivalent.