Remixing is a talent that I think is underappreciated. It takes a whole different set of skills that a person who plays an instrument may not posses. You need to be able to deconstruct and reconstruct music while still representing the original vision. D.J. Robinson is a master at this craft and encourage you to visit his bandcamp page and listen to remixes he has done of artists like Common, Pharrell Williams and Michael Jackson. Even though D.J. Robinson obviously have a passion for remixing he has released his own original material as well. In 2010 he released Chill Mode: UpGraded and just recently followed that up with Chill Mode 2: My Mind In Stereo. Chill Mode 2: My Mind In Stereo is a diverse album that combines hip-hop, soul, and electronic music.
It didn’t take me too long to realize D.J. Robinson has skills as a producer. He pulls out an arsenal of tricks and sounds that kept me engaged throughout the fourteen tracks on the album. On top of that D.J. Robinson enlists a slew of guest vocalist who keep things fresh.
The album kicks off with “Believe Me (Intro) Feat. Damo” which revolves around southern swagger style hip-hop. It contains cascading synths, manipulated bells and a hard hitting beat while Damo raps over the layers of sound. D.J. Robinson switches thing up on the next track Donuts (Another One For Dilla) which is instrumental track where he combines funk and a bit of disco. The track is a bit reminiscent of something you might hear from Four Tet, Prefuse 73 or Mylo. It’s definitely a passable groove that you wouldn’t mind hearing coming out from the hippest lounge in the city on a Friday Night.
As the album progresses D.J. Robinson churns out a number of highlights including “Truth”, “Status Quo” and “I Miss You Feat RN”. The album closes with arguably the most inventive track entitled (Quiet TIme (Outro) Feat. Damo). I was immediately impressed by the beat which had traces of Flying Lotus. Great way to end the album.
Chill Mode 2: My Mind In Stereo showcases some serious talent coming from D.J. Robinson. That being said this album is fluid but also falls short of redefining what’s possible as on such recent albums like Black Messiah and Run the Jewels 2. Overall, the album was a thumbs up in my book and is recommended listening for anyone who considers themselves a fan of soul and hip-hop.
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