It’s almost impossible to talk about RJD2 without mentioning DJ Shadow. While the similarities are definitely there, RJD2 is so much more than the book that Shadow wrote. There are elements of soul, funk and hip hop. In a sea of Serato dummy discs and Ableton controllers, RJD2 sailed away on a wave of vinyl and live drums courtesy of the very talented Break Science.
From the moment he emerged on stage as Commissioner Crotchbuttons, we knew this was going to be a performance for the record books. Towering ever so slightly above the biggest crowd yet assembled at the Named After Groupon stage, Ramble John “RJ” Krohn showed all the people in the audience that dubsteppin’ isn’t the only way to enjoy electronic music. There were lights mounted high to the top of the stage, but they weren’t even necessary and no one was paying attention to them. RJD2 is a man that doesn’t need a huge, highly produced distraction to act as a crutch for his performance. It’s probably due to the fact that he isn’t a guy up on stage just pushing buttons, but regardless of the reason it’s something that everyone in the audience appreciated.
Cascade after cascade (but never Kaskade) enveloped the audience in everything from soul to funk to hip hop to electronic and everything in between. Working the decks like he was born to, the instrumental hip hop magnate made it clear that he’s just as instrumental to the equation as the music itself.