J. Rocc J. RoccSome Cold Rock Stuf
J. Roccwas bitten by a radioactive Stanton that gave him strange powers. Without being aware of it, he started to move the faders of the mixing decks as fast as a colibri on speed, handling vinyl records as if they were maracas and inventing impossible tricks like someone blowing ‘Os’ with cigarette smoke. Great powers come with great responsibilities, which is probably why the man called other superheroes of the Planet Turntable to form the Beat Junkies collective in 1990, something like the Justice League of Scratch. They made history, became legends, and were an inspiration to the new generations who sacrificed their souls to finger acrobatics with decks and turntables.
With narrow ties to Madlib and Jay Dilla –he was the DJ at the gigs the two did as Jaylib–, undisputable pioneer of turntablism, old school cut’n’paste magician, the veteran juggler is now starting an epic adventure with his solo album. It consists of two CDs, one the official LP, the second a mystery disc without track titles, and J Rocc takes the steering wheel of an old school boat with the past as destination; a floating paradise of samples and breaks that will make those who still go to sleep with David Holmes’ “Let’s Get Killed” and DJ Shadow’s playing softly on the stereo. “Endtroducing…”
“Some Cold Rock Stuf” has the same footprint as Josh Davis’ legendary first album: dirty breaks, drums tasting of dusty funk, rare grooves are all over the place and the vinyl crackles are always in the background. Inserts, vocal cuts, pieces of a puzzle, radio interference, phrases taken from 80s rap records: the decoration is perfect for J Rocc to play around with his super fat beats –does “Roccheads Delight” sound like the skeleton of “Midnight In A Perfect World” or is it just me?– and the stoner guitars of “Don’t Sell Your Dream (Tonight)”; the cartoonesque sixties psychedelica of “Thru The Tulips” –reminiscent of early RJD2–; the uptempo tribal with carioca flavour of “Party”; the esoteric funk of “Chasing The Sun” –could you get more 90s?–; the retro hip-hop batacada for breakdancers of “Play This (Also)”; the cosmic jazz of “Malcolm Was Here”; the raw instrumental hip-hop without condom of “Take Me Away”. J. Rocc hasn’t tried to do something bigger than him, he has rather just trusted his speciality and has come up with a timeless piece of breakbeat Mo’Wax would have paid top dollar for 15 years ago. Luckily, we have Stones Throw. In times of digitalisation and antiseptic rhythms, this kind of old school sampledelia is a rebel act with capital letters. Pure Rocc‘n’roll.