Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Jon Ashley / Recorded at Echo Mountain in Asheville, N.C., during MoogFest, Oct. 2010
There are numerous things that should be done when you visit Asheville, North Carolina. It's a U.S. city worth a special trip and it's a city that defies your expectations, even after you've been there a few times. It's quaint and it's near-perfect in all kinds of ways. The airport is one of the tiniest and coolest points on any flight itinerary and from there, you can make your way into the city, by way of a blacktop highway that rounds through the mounds that are essentially the Blue Ridge Mountains. It gets breathtaking awfully quickly. Spend some days there and you must do a combination of the following things: you should get over to Malaprops bookstore for an early morning coffee and some reading material, one of the finest independent book dealers in the country. You should then walk right around the corner to Tupelo Honey and hope that you don't have to fight the line to get a seat for a stack of their sinful sweet potato pancakes - and it's okay to order those at any hour of the day, as far as I'm concerned. Next, you should walk around the beautiful, slightly hilly downtown because you're going to want to work off those pancakes so you can head over to 12 Bones for BBQ. The restaurant keeps very picky hours and does no favors other than providing some of the most original barbeque tastes imaginable. From there (and remember to keep looking around for the city's not stopped being good looking) you can try to get a tour of the Moog factory, down on the river and a Friday night at Highland Brewing is well spent. And, importantly, make time for Harvest Records for some vinyl shopping. RJD2, or Ramble John Krohn, the brilliant electronic artist originally from Oregon and currently calling Philadelphia, Pennsylvania home, came straight from the airport to Echo Mountain studio for this session, Halloween weekend, this past fall. He took in the sights, just as described, and he had but one thing on his mind at the completion of this mashed up single track, other than getting to the club for soundcheck, of course. He, like any sane person, wanted to know where the best places to go vinyl shopping were in town. Harvest was the first place out of everyone's lips and he felt that he needed to be specific. He wanted the dusty stuff. He wanted to crate dig. He wanted to get down on the floor and look through the hidden LPs under the shelves, in the off-limits basements. He wanted to flip through the albums that everyone else ignored. It should come as no surprise that this would be the material that Krohn/RJ would want to scavenge through for those pieces of inspiration that he likes to craft into his quirky and innovative compositions. RJD2 music is synonymous with the snippet -- the unfamiliar snippet, something from a sex education album for children or a record of field recordings or of Jack Nicholas teaching the art of a golf swing. The odder, the better, though there needs to be enough meat there that Krohn can work with it, to make it into some kind of statement that is profound and not merely novel. His focus seems to always be to melt the strangest worlds together and expose us to something new, something that we'll never, ever fully understand or piece together its parts. It is just the sum of it all - of the dusty scraps and ribbons, of that dusty wax - his sum.