To celebrate the official launch of his new label, RJ’s Electrical Connections, the revered instrumentalist has released the incredible 2002-2010 limited edition (1100 copies) vinyl box set, a gorgeous collection summing up the greatest moments of his career thus far. Obtaining the rights to his first three Definitive Jux releases, RJ reissues all three releases in this lovely package.
His first two classic full-length albums, Dead Ringer and Since We Last Spoke remain unaltered, both including the original U.S. tracklistings, and both on double vinyl. Since We Last Spoke loses it’s original gatefold sleeve status for the collection, however it’s a fair trade for such a cohesive box set. Also included here for the first time on vinyl is The Horror EP, trading it’s original die-cut CD O-Card for a 12×12 visage of Zombie-Jesus in all it’s glory.
New to the collection is the bonus Tin Foil Hat EP, which similar to The Horror, is a collection of loose knit tracks, taken from the “deluxe” versions of each album. There are elements of his earlier works sprinkled throughout the sound of Tin Foil Hat; the atmospheric waves, the filtered french vocals, the oohs and aahs, and of course the snapping drum kicks. The sound here is vintage instrumentalist RJ. In fact, there’s only one vocal track on here, “The Move”, featuring Tage – perhaps a glimpse at what his next Soul Position-esque project might sound like. This exclusion of RJ’s own vocals shrouds his forthcoming release, The Colossus, in mystery.
All of this comes packaged in a brilliantly realized box design, which appears to sport a random checkerboard pattern of sorts, but upon closer examination is a amalgamation of each of his album covers, including The Third Hand and The Colossus. Speaking of which, the set includes placeholders for these two albums (The Third Hand which is still under license to XL), so you have the option of inserting these LP’s yourself later. As an added bonus, each box includes a hand-printed piece of original artwork, signed and numbered by RJ himself, plus a redeemable card for MP3 downloads of each album.
While many of us are admittedly beyond buying music anymore, RJ demonstrates a valid reason for dropping $60 with this lush collection. In a zen like moment, the packaging is as beautiful as the music itself, a rarity in an industry now controlled by point, click, and delete options. – DJ Pizzo
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