Judging from the lone interview I conducted with him in the wake of the mostly panned The Third Hand, RJD2 is largely unconcerned with extra-musical concerns. Like his spiritual predecessor, DJ Shadow, he’s displayed an independent streak and desire to cultivate a low profile — releasing music independently and eschewing any desire to regain buzz in the wake of critical failure. This is and affordable rent are presumably the only reason why he currently resides in Philly.
Instead, Ramble John seems obsessed with a genuine artistry — experimenting with a shaky voice and letting it crack publicly. Accepting the mild response with defiance and no regrets — moving forward towards a compromise between his old tricks and new aspirations. His new mix for Daytrotter taps into this idea — re-working his classic cuts with cinematic clips and the occasional Trick Daddy sample. Criticism shouldn’t be prescriptive, but I will say that it would be nice to hear more of this. However stellar, 13 minutes is too short and only a few can sing like Aloe Blacc.