🎵 How Good Are They Really 🎵 DJ Shadow

I’ve gone with a 3 but could have gone lower on the back of a terrible set at prima. As other have said endtroducing is a landmark and there is some good stuff knocking about on subsequent releases, but overall massively diminishing returns.


Good, latter period Shadow

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Surprised at the negativity of Private Press which I think stands up to Endtroducing but maybe I feel that because I got into PP first? Everything since has been pretty meh though, right enough

These are all ragers


Endtroducing… is one of the best instrumental hip hop albums ever made. But it’s both engrained in my psyche in a way that offers me next to nothing to go back to, and a little dated. I haven’t rinsed the Private Press in the same way and get a bit more out of it. The mixes with Cut Chemist are pretty much peak turntablism. I was always excited for him to work with rappers, but it barely ever turned out well. I never really got on with UNKLE at all.

Everything else is… spotty. I mean, I kind of admire that he hasn’t stuck to making or playing plunderphonics type instrumental hip hop his whole career, despite it being what the majority of his fanbase wants he keeps wanting to move forward. And I mean, a hyphy album or trap album by DJ Shadow could be cool… If he was good at making that type of music.

Even when he tries to do more classic instrumental hip hop or boom bap now the results don’t really sound like the work of one of the greats. And then occasionally he puts out something that actually sounds really good… Most recently the King Gizzard remix below is probably as good as anything he’s done in years.

So yeah. Have no idea where I lie on him really. Did some great stuff, mostly many years ago. Has really gone out of his way to prove he’s not as good a DJ or producer as you might have thought he was. But sometimes knocks it out the park. A 3 for his career? A 4 for the good stuff and refusing to be pigeonholed? Dunno.


Good interview with him here.

I listen to Endtroducing… all the time and if anything I like it much more now than when I first listened 15 years ago.

There’s just so much to discover in it.


I think I’ve listened to that UNKLE album over a million times

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Ah I forgot the unkle album, that’s a special record. They really tanked when he stepped back as well.

I think Mountain Will Fall is the only album I like post Private Press.


I really liked this from that record too


Enjoyed this off his latest

and this is one of the greatest mixes of all time

along with this one

So good at what he does.

Feels like either a mean 4 or a generous 5. Entroducing clearly an all timer, some other good stuff since then, but also a fair amount of toss.

Entroducing and most of Private Press are 5s.

Since then he has continued to make music that simply does not exist.


Probably a 4, but feels tough giving a 4 to someone who produced.one of the all-time great albums.

3 or 4. Endtroducing is great, but I didn’t hear it until 20+ years after release. The Mountain Will Fall is pretty good, enjoyed seeing him on that tour even if he didn’t blow me away, I was very entertained. Nobody Speak is amazing, love it.

Tempted to go for a 1 for releasing “The Outsider”

It would be criminal for the man who made Entroducing…, The Private Press and Nobody Speak to get less than a 5. He could release Ed Sheeran collaborations till the end of time and he would still get a 5 for those two albums and that single.


This was brilliant also

Think there was a second one with a different name. One of many ‘smoking classics’ from my uni days


Really want to like the Outsider due to all the snobbishness about it. Hyphy can be great, it’s a style of rap music that’s been really influential on music in general, particularly since DJ Shadow jumped onto it (so he wasn’t really that late to the scene). He has some real legends on it, and it’s such a huge left turn in the face of what pretty much all of his fanbase would have wanted him to do as to be admirable. It’s just not particularly good unfortunately.


Ty Segall thread: He released 48 great albums last year but I didn’t like one of them. 3/5.
DJ Shadow thread: Everything’s shite except Endtroducing, which is entirely samples of other people’s music. 5/5.

For the record I give them both 5, they’ve both given me a lot of joy.


Everything’s shite except Endtroducing, which is entirely samples of other people’s music. 5/5.