"When I was young, my first and foremost thing was looking for records that I haven't seen before. It was in line with my general ethos of finding records that hadn't been used as sample fodder."
When Philly-via-Ohio producer RJD2 released his debut album Deadringer in 2002, beat-heads everywhere called the album a modern-day classic for its eerie sound, diverse sample sources and head-rattling beats. Four albums and more than a decade later, the producer released the recent More Is Than Isn't, his best and most realized album in years.
RJD2 let us delve inside his record collection for the latest episode of Crate Diggers, in which the producer discusses spending 13 hours a day, 7 days a week for years searching for records and producing music (and dealing with snarling record store owners in the process).
"I had a crisis moment in the mid to late '00s," he admits. "I had gotten to the point where this utilitarian thinking about records had gone so far, that I was not buying music to listen to at all. It was bad and a dark time for me musically. I had to rediscover how to just buy records and enjoy. I had gone so far off the deep end of not buying records for the sake of listening and enjoying music that I had to recalibrate that. I had to radically rewritten that part of my brain."
The producer also gives a poignant response to why someone should care about vinyl and collecting. "If a 15-year-old kid who grew up on iTunes and Spotify asked, 'Why is vinyl important?,' my response would be, 'It isn't. It's not to you. This isn't of your generation.' And that's perfectly fine. For young producer kids looking up to Skrillex and Deadmau5, why would they care? And I don't think they should. What I experienced in my generation isn't repeatable. And that's okay, but it should be documented. To some degree, our stories will die with us."
Check out the full episode above.