🎵 How Good Are They Really 🎵 DJ Shadow

Think this is really unfair tbh. He’s an incredible DJ. Have seen him play a bunch of different places and he’s always tailored his set to where he’s playing. He does go pretty deep when he plays smaller hip hop nights, but I’ve seen him play pretty much straight bangers at festivals as well. His scratching is some of the best I’ve seen live too.

I’m also pretty sure I saw a variation on the UK hip hop set that @CHAIRMAN_LMAO is talking about (in the mid 90s?) and genuinely didn’t get the impression he was trying to one up anybody - was more that he was playing in the UK so was paying tribute to UK hip hop - he’s always said that DJ Devastate (Demon Boyz) is probably the biggest influence on his scratch style so it’s not that weird that he’d have a bunch of old Britcore records in his bag. He did a 30 minute set for Breezeblock which was the best bits of the UK mix and it is insane (can’t find it online though). I know that deep funk scene which he’s into as well is a bit elitist, but I’ve never seen it with him when he’s playing hip hop

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The links I shared show how good a DJ he is. He knows his stuff.

For anyone who found the Solesides / Quaanum thing a bit anemic, this is a great set live on the radio that shows them up much, much better

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yeah i always thought he was a great DJ and a true crate digger. He was just (and probably still is) an absolute nerd back then into finding killer records. He says in one of the docs about how old recordings are like discovering someone living their dream for three minutes and he just loves the thought of that and giving it another bit of life. He’s clearly got a great ear for a good beat/sample. Never came across as anything other as genuine (backed up by most of his 21st century material being boring - to me at least!)

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He might have peaked early on his own project as nothing he’s put out under the DJ Shadow name has touched Endtroducing… since, but I remember how massive an impact the release of that album was, how it utterly defined sampling/plunderphonics in a way that ultimately became the path for artists like RJD2 and less strictly hip hop focused acts like Avalanches to follow, not to mention having a wide impact on hip hop production.

I think, despite the subsequent DJ Shadow albums being disappointing on various levels, Josh is at heart a collaborative artist and he’s helped some great music come to be over the years, not least being the extraordinary first UNKLE album and his involvement with Quannum.

Was going to give him a 4 on the basis that this is a DJ Shadow thread, but really, Endtro… and Psyence Fiction really are worth that extra point.

5.

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Bob Wood, national program director of the CHUM group, worked with me in producing this 4

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I’d like to just continue to be able to express myself as best as I can on the boards
You know, I feel like I have a lot of work to do still, you know
I’m a student of HGATR, and I’m also a teacher of HGATR too, you know hurhurhur

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On the whole, think Endroducing is slightly overrated. That said, everything he released up to and including it is absolutely top notch, even if I don’t go back to it much these days. Absolutely loved it at the time and have some quite heavy nostalgia attached to it too.

The Private Press on the other hand is hugely underrated - still listen to it lot. He’s said it was meant to be a kind of back to basics / tribute to the music of his youth record after the whole UNKLE / Mo’ Wax debacle and seeing it in that context really helped me enjoy it more after being underwhelmed for a while when I first got it. Aware this is a fairly wanky thing to say, but even a vague familiarity with pre-NWA west coast hip hop really helps too.

Pretty baffled by the love for Psyence Fiction tbh. Was massively disappointed at the time and have tried a few times with it since and still think it’s garbage. Production is overdone and the collaborations don’t work (and a lot of the time sound completely phoned in). Kool G Rap and Alice Temple save it a bit, but the other tracks …

Like pretty much everyone else itt, I do admire him for going his own way for the rest of his career, it just hasn’t really been a direction I’ve wanted to follow him down much. Not really sure how influential he is either tbh. Still, for those first two albums and the early EPs, together with some amazing DJ sets over the years, still think he’s worth a 5. 100% meant a lot to younger me

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Pretty unimaginative name, like Shadow is one of those “oooh that’s a cool name for a ninja!” when you are 12. Also DJ that’s just your job mate, would you get your hair cut from a guy called Barber Toxxic?!

Well there we are then!

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No ‘Rabbit In Your Headlights’? Man that song still destroys me even after nearly 25 years…

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Yeah really not for me that one, although it’s definitely one of the better tracks on there. Thom Yorke doesn’t phone it either tbf

Score!

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Got in just in time to bump to a 5 after watching the stem/long stem deconstruction and remembering just how perfect Entroducing is.

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voted 4. i like him and have love for the first couple albums. best song off the outsider:

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I reckon it’ll be 3.80 or something round there

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It’s 3.89 for DJ Shadow!

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  • Joni Mitchell
  • Janelle Monae
  • Massive Attack
  • DJ Shadow

0 voters

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This is his best and even though I’m with the posters saying his usual work with rappers being off, this is perfect.

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That’s a decent set of folks to hang with! Difficult to choose between them, frankly. (But it’s Joni, of course. It’s always Joni.)

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That new album, huh? Ouch. Absolutely awful.

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