Review Summary: An overall good album, notable for it's cool perspective
The Return of the DJ vol. 2 is the second chapter of six piece series devoted to hip hop and turntablism. It was the first album of the series I aquired and figured it would be a natural place to start for my sputnik profile. One of the striking features of this album is the diversity in nationalities of the contributors. When people think of hip hop, it's usually just the US that comes to mind. Or "them little kidz across the pond doing their thang", implicitly drawing attention a lack of history and roots in european hip hop. So when this project with a more global perspective came together I found it really ***ing cool. In fact, the reason I got the album in the first place was because my fellow countryman Tommy Tee was a contributor. And not only Norway, but Finland, France, Canada, Holland and England were all invited to the party. Along with great geographical diversity within the US, that would put the old "East vs West"-dichotomy to shame, it's truly an interesting project.
As for the music, I could just say: "If you love turntablism, you'll love it. If you don't, then don't even bother." However I think it deserves a bit more credit than that. As you'd imagine with so many contributors some of 'em make it work and others don't. However with the nature of turntablism, even the songs themselves vary in the quality of the composition. Some of the scratching just sounds generic and and boring, then a new piece of wax is laid on the platter and everything picks up again. And a few of the songs are absolutely amazing through and through. One of the overall themes is that tries to focus on the roots of hip hop. Jazzy beats are never far away and most of it is cut with surgical precision.
I won't speak about every song, because I think it's unwarranted. It's feels more like an adventure anyhow. You travel through the songs and never know what to expect at the next turn. It might be good, it might be bad, but you seldom know what's coming. I like to think of it as a ride where you go "beat spotting" and a trip down memory lane, all with a good dose of humor mixed in (so to speak). It doesn't take itself too seriously, and neither should you. Just start with the first track, which is one of the best, and let the head-nodding begin.
(I have no idea why it wont display the .jpg album art. Too bad, cuz it kicks ass)