Last fall, RJD2 left his longtime home Definitive Jux for XL Recordings, home to artists like Thom Yorke (of Radiohead) and Dizzee Rascal. The Philly-based beat maker gambled that XL will be a more suitable home for his new recordings, on which he mixes his DJ Shadow-like production with actual vocal numbers in greater quantity than his last album, 2003’s Since We Last Spoke.
Now RJD2 will release his third album, The Third Hand on March 6. Two tracks from the album are posted on his MySpace page. “You Never Had It So Good” is reflective of the droll, slightly nervous singing style RJ trumpeted through an interview with Pitchfork, and is reminiscent of Since We Last Spoke’s “Through the Walls.” The second track, “Get It,” seemingly returns to his yearning instrumental style. According to XL Recordings’ website, The Third Hand was entirely recorded by RJD2. He composed its music with an MPC 2000XL sampler/sequencer, analog synthesizers, electric pianos and guitars.
In a press release RJ explained, “Leaving Jux was a hard decision for me to make, both personally and business-wise, but for the folks who follow that kind of thing (labels and such), I think it will make sense when you hear the new record as it’s not hip hop.”
On the sound of the new record RJ added, “It’s more lushly produced, with vocal harmonies and grooves. Like the Zombies, Steely Dan and Daft Punk having some brews in a hot tub. It’s sort of a garage-y produced pop record, that’s got vocal harmonies, some bad-ass guitar tones, very slight riffage, just enough piano, and some tough ass drums. I think it sounds more like real human beings playing instruments than anything i’ve ever done. Maybe its kind of like if King Crimson went to a therapist, and came out really happy and optimistic about the world, and was just walking around giving out hugs and shit.”