Back in 2002, RJD2 (Ramble John "RJ" Krohn) made the Kind of Blue of instrumental hip-hop. His album Deadringer, which combined dirty break-beats with deep soul samples and giant horn fanfares, was a revelation that in many ways presaged the entire soul revival that soon followed and raised the bar for hip-hop producers everywhere.
Since then, Krohn’s ducked under the radar a bit, experimenting with singing and live-instrumental albums. And he put some money away by composing the theme song for the hit television series “Mad Men.”
Now Krohn’s back with a new project, Icebird, with the Philly soul singer and collaborator of The Roots, Aaron Livingston. From the sound of “Going and Going. And Going,” Icebird's music has plenty of the hip-hop-meets-funk flavor that propelled RJD2 to the spotlight in the first place, plus a touch of Shuggie Otis-style psychedelia.
Friday night at Webster Hall, Krohn performs solo as RJD2, so expect a staggering array of turntables being played with supreme dexterity.