DJ Shadow: classic or dud?

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
discuss, with examples.

ethan padgett, Sunday, 18 February 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Shouldn't it be more like: "DJ Shadow -- wasn't he famous once?"

On the tolerable side of classic because he's a total fucking goth -- and like me doesn't immediately demonstrate it on first appearance. There's a reason why the UNKLE album turned out that way and had Thom Yorke on it -- I prefer to think of the hip-hop image he projects as covering up his doomy moodiness. Which may not sound very goth, but if Tricky can like Gary Numan and Danzig, anything's possible. ;-)

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 18 February 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

i just realized that i should have given a bit of my own opinion when i asked. i think that shadow's legitimacy is a matter of context. 'turntablism' as a whole makes for rather boring rap music, but for rather interesting 'electronic' music (and that's how it's classified in most record stores, whether shadow likes it or not, and his non-pop album aesthetic stakes him decidedly out of the rap camp). i hate the critics who insist on revering turntablism for bringing the oh-so-essential 'live' element back into black music, because 1) it's just playing records, and live rapping is much more 'live' than that, regardless of how much you scratch, because the rapping is created entirely by the rapper and 2) black people don't listen to 'turntablism' anyway.

another point against him is that he falls into the 'only-thing-with-a-beat-at-an- indie-kids-house' camp that tom put the beastie boys in, and he's become the default torch-bearer of the dj element in 'real hiphop' beloved by jurassic 5 fan. mention grandmixer d.st and you'll get a blank stare, but mention shadow and you're sure to find someone to let you in on the secret that 'all the good rap is underground'. blech.

of course i can't blame shadow for that, and taken for what it is, his output is mostly fantastic. if this was a search and destroy, my verdict would be to search 'endtroducing' and early singles (and i still maintain that the unkle album is asorely underrated pop album, but i wouldn't advise one to 'search' for it) and to destroy his stereotypical indie production on solesides cuts. but this is classic or dud, so i have to say he's classic.

oh and ned, re: the goth connection, i think there's a good bit of truth to that, although the 'wasn't he famous once' comment is a bit harsh considering there hasn't been a new album with the man's name on it in five years. wait and see.

ethan, Sunday, 18 February 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I think it's *because* he hasn't had an album out with his name on it in five years which prompts the comment, though of course he's been doing a variety of things along the way. Still, until you mentioned him, I hadn't thought about him at all in moons, so that says something, I figure. ;-)

Ned Raggett, Monday, 19 February 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Ethan makes some good points. Still for the music: just on the classic side. 'Influx' and 'Lost & Found' both really, really good singles. "What does your soul look like?" is his masterpiece, after which "Endtroducing" seemed a pit patchy. "Brainfreeze" is an allright mix-cd with Cut Chemist, although it highlights one of the problems with Shadow: every music pre-90s and scratchy = good, everything else = bad. And Quannum sucks like a black hole.

Omar, Monday, 19 February 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Who are these people? Who the fuck is DJ Shadow? Is he that toss-pot that the NME love, the next Weatherall, the dance music its ok for indie kids to like? BT and Oakey-cokey for me every time.

William Casper, Monday, 19 February 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Who the fuck is William Casper?

Dr.C, Monday, 19 February 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

entroducing.com has news about new album.

Kevin Enas, Monday, 19 February 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

2 words: ORGAN DONOR. Played on Repeat 25-30 times, it never fails to deliciously drive me nuts. I love it. Drugs help, needless to say.

simon, Tuesday, 20 February 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Cigarette box shaking, kestrel training, northern smack-monkey if its any of your business "Foxy".

William Casper, Saturday, 24 February 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
Do Androids Dream of Electronic Beats?
http://www.redbrick.dcu.ie/~shivo/unkle77/androids.html

Anyone heard these? Three DJ mixes (Gi, Tai, Shin) done by UNKLE, they pressed 500 copies and mostly distributed them to friends and via one record store in England. They're available now on AudioGalaxy as single files, at 320 kbps compression ratio.

I've just downloaded them all. They're entertaining, mixing together UNKLE and Shadow tracks with the Beatles, Howie B, the Star Wars theme, some disco, hip-hop and rock ... there's one part I really like at the beginning of the Shin mix, where he cuts up the Red Hot Chili Pepper's "Breaking the Girl" before letting it flow free. But they're not nearly as amazing as I'd hoped. They mostly seem interested in just setting a party atmosphere, with a lot of generic house and disco beats .. I'm really surprised at the house/techno flavor in some places, there's not much hip-hop. Also, he makes some poor choices like constantly looping the same vocal sample, and it's ass annoying on the Tai mix with this lame line by 3D on a Prodigy track .. not a lot of consistency. fun stuff, though. About 170 megs for each file.

Dare, Saturday, 27 April 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Oh, wait ... I've heard someone say it's just James Lavelle and another guy, DJ Shadow not involved. Comments unsubstantiated at this time.

Dare, Saturday, 27 April 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

At the very least, the revival of this thread validates one point I had, namely that he had practically disappeared at this time last year! Now that has changed, obviously. ;-)

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 27 April 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

I like his straight-up hip-hop tracks on the Solesides comp quite a bit, I wish he would work with more mc's.

'Holy Calamity' still fucking rules.

Jordan, Saturday, 27 April 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

peep my proto-anne style up top!!

ethan, Saturday, 27 April 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

live rapping is much more 'live' than that, regardless of how much you scratch, because the rapping is created entirely by the rapper

Yeah, but the rapper couldn't rap without vocal cords, lips, tongue, and the English Language!

Clarke B., Sunday, 28 April 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

DJ Krush will slice you with his turntable needle, Clarke ... Japan represent!

Dare, Sunday, 28 April 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

?? i think people can rap in other languages. besides, what are you talking about, clarke?

Ron, Sunday, 28 April 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Ditto to what Ethan said. He seems to have made his mark with the moody stuff, but I prefer the straight-up popjam stuff - "The Number Song", "Walkie Talkie" from the new one. He's great, but I gotta rank him behind Cut Chemist and RJD2 and Peanut Butter Wolf and Kid Koala (solo) not to mention Grand Wizard Theodore and the other originators.

J Blount, Sunday, 28 April 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
DJ Shadow on the cover of WIRE. "I spit on your groove." Dud.

DeRayMi, Tuesday, 18 June 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

The WIRE's typeface discriminates against people with poor vision.

DeRayMi, Tuesday, 18 June 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

both good points, re. the relative worth of dj shadow.

jess, Tuesday, 18 June 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Hua Hsu in the Wire this month moaning about him and Shadow walking down the street and no one recognising THEM.

Girls! Boys! Start screaming and tearing off the clothes of world- famous icon Hua Hsu!

Marcello Carlin, Wednesday, 19 June 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

three years pass...
What's a toss-pot? Are you all Limeys?

Dank Miser, Tuesday, 8 November 2005 05:43 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Roight Guv-nah!

ha ha!

Dank Miser, Tuesday, 8 November 2005 05:46 (twelve years ago) Permalink

We are all Americans except for Ethan, who is really Prince William.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 8 November 2005 05:47 (twelve years ago) Permalink

black people don't listen to 'turntablism' anyway

Please deconstruct this comment.

viborgu, Tuesday, 8 November 2005 05:50 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Please deconstruct this comment.

Okay: it's true.

Confounded (Confounded), Tuesday, 8 November 2005 16:12 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Entroducing is Classic! Preemptive has the extended Organ Donor so naturally a Classic. Private Press is Fun but disposable (he says oh so archly). Solesides comp I have isn't too great. UNKLE album still very listenable. Quannum has "Changed my mind" but that's not enough really for such a boring album.

Kv_nol (Kv_nol), Tuesday, 8 November 2005 16:22 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I think DJ Shadow got caught in the trap of waiting way too long to put out a new album with imitators meanwhile getting better and better at copping his style. Private Press had some standout tracks but it reeks of trying too hard at originality. I appreciate his predicament, but Private Press felt sort of like a collection of outtakes and B-sides rather than an album. Some cool ideas, but an unfinished feel to the whole affair. Maybe if he gets to work and hones his newfound bargain-bin 80s-meets-trip-hop style a little more for a new album he can get back on top.

Hurting (Hurting), Tuesday, 8 November 2005 17:02 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Classic. He's the best at what he does.

kornrulez6969 (TCBeing), Tuesday, 8 November 2005 17:27 (twelve years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

Why can I get a copy of influx - like - to-day?
(i've just been outbid on ebay and am very sad).

Ned Trifle II, Friday, 7 March 2008 12:40 (ten years ago) Permalink

And I'm not proud to beg.

Ned Trifle II, Friday, 7 March 2008 12:40 (ten years ago) Permalink

http://www.discogs.com/sell/list?release_id=17256&ev=rp <-- that one?

mh, Friday, 7 March 2008 14:35 (ten years ago) Permalink

it's on one of the compilations.

That one guy that hit it and quit it, Friday, 7 March 2008 14:47 (ten years ago) Permalink

xp
Yes that one. I've got it on Headz but I specifically want the one that starts with some guy talking which I believe is the single version. I have it but when I loaded it up yesterday I discovered it was cracked. Indestructable cds, pah!

Ned Trifle II, Friday, 7 March 2008 17:18 (ten years ago) Permalink

Hey, I just found another copy. I have so much shit I don't even know I have. Sorry to have taken up your time. Anyway, while I'm here can i just say I am very much enjoying the DJ Shadow's early records what I am listening to presently. So, classic!

Ned Trifle II, Friday, 7 March 2008 17:44 (ten years ago) Permalink

Entroducing was without doubt an absolute classic. In my head.

Maybe it was good timing - it was unlike anything to me at that time,me being a guitar indie fucker.

It had depth and was moving.

Why were his successive releases so shit?

Fer Ark, Saturday, 8 March 2008 02:23 (ten years ago) Permalink

it's on preemptive strike dude

winston, Saturday, 8 March 2008 02:39 (ten years ago) Permalink

right???

winston, Saturday, 8 March 2008 02:39 (ten years ago) Permalink

I really liked The Private Press, but I haven't had the stomach to try The Outside yet...

Simon H., Saturday, 8 March 2008 02:41 (ten years ago) Permalink

er, Outsider.

Simon H., Saturday, 8 March 2008 02:41 (ten years ago) Permalink

High School Band Plays DJ Shadow !

http://ia300108.us.archive.org/2/items/BrianUdelhofenTheShadowPercussionProject/spp.wmv

oscar, Saturday, 8 March 2008 04:43 (ten years ago) Permalink

classic up to and including entroducing, patchy after.

stet, Saturday, 8 March 2008 04:56 (ten years ago) Permalink

i also liked Private Press. not 100% classic, but damn good.

The Outsider was a mess.

one time, Saturday, 8 March 2008 05:12 (ten years ago) Permalink

last time I saw him play he got huge boos for anything from the outsider. Eventually he stopped and spent a while explaining to the crowd that he wasn't going to apologise for experimenting, and he'd never make the same record twice, and he had to keep on trying new things.

Really nasty mood in the crowd that night.

stet, Saturday, 8 March 2008 05:21 (ten years ago) Permalink

maybe he should just apologize for making a shitty record

Hurting 2, Saturday, 8 March 2008 05:22 (ten years ago) Permalink

and selling it to us

Hurting 2, Saturday, 8 March 2008 05:22 (ten years ago) Permalink

making a hyphy track when hyphy is at its peak is not 'experimenting'. more like trying to capitalize lol.

oscar, Saturday, 8 March 2008 05:33 (ten years ago) Permalink

last time I saw him play he got huge boos for anything from the outsider. Eventually he stopped and spent a while explaining to the crowd that he wasn't going to apologise for experimenting, and he'd never make the same record twice, and he had to keep on trying new things.

this sounds really awkward and weird. given a boring, predictable lecture by a dude you paid to see rock the decks???

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Saturday, 8 March 2008 07:35 (ten years ago) Permalink

i liked that one song with david banner

Better Pau Gasol (Spottie), Saturday, 9 April 2016 19:42 (two years ago) Permalink

i think of the Gaslamp Killer as one ideal version of what DJS could have evolved into, blending obscure samples and live breaks + synths + turntablism in a way that sounds fresh and personal.

sam jax sax jam (Jordan), Saturday, 9 April 2016 19:48 (two years ago) Permalink

I liked this until the beat came in, then I was out. And the stuff that I liked, I can get from other people. Endtroducing is amazing enough that I can happily let it stand alone as an amazing achievement and not bother with the rest of his catalog (though I do like the early stuff gathered up on Pre-Emptive Strike).

the top man in the language department (誤訳侮辱), Saturday, 9 April 2016 20:00 (two years ago) Permalink

i think of the Gaslamp Killer as one ideal version of what DJS could have evolved into, blending obscure samples and live breaks + synths + turntablism in a way that sounds fresh and personal.

― sam jax sax jam (Jordan), Saturday, April 9, 2016 12:48 PM (41 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

yeah i thought his recent live album (featuring live musicians, iirc) was really interesting, it really goes all over the place and hangs together pretty nicely.

lute bro (brimstead), Saturday, 9 April 2016 20:32 (two years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Taking in photographs and articles from/in regards to Charlottesville while listening to Preemptive Strike. Eerily soothing.

he doesn't need to be racist about it though. (Austin), Sunday, 13 August 2017 17:54 (ten months ago) Permalink

in/flux is his best track

Week of Wonders (Ross), Sunday, 13 August 2017 20:07 (ten months ago) Permalink

I might agree... it's a masterful lovely garden of samples

brimstead, Sunday, 13 August 2017 20:28 (ten months ago) Permalink

I saw him a couple weeks ago, it was a pretty good show. Pretty spectacular digital effects, played lots of oldie-goodies. He was a little grumpy as a stage presence, but that seemed in keeping with his overall persona. He wore a T-shirt from a local record store that he'd been shopping at that afternoon, which was cool.

a man often referred to in the news media as the Duke of Saxony (tipsy mothra), Monday, 14 August 2017 01:15 (ten months ago) Permalink

yes but which version of in/flux is the better version?

the late great, Monday, 14 August 2017 20:19 (ten months ago) Permalink

Headz version is my favourite

not not not not yr academy (stevie), Monday, 14 August 2017 21:28 (ten months ago) Permalink

six months pass...

is Endtroducing... the best album to start with?

had (crüt), Monday, 12 March 2018 01:51 (three months ago) Permalink

it's the best one to start and end with

austinb, Monday, 12 March 2018 01:54 (three months ago) Permalink

P much OTM. Incredibly aptly named now that I think about it.

There are a bunch of other tracks from his catalogue that I like but that’s the only essential album.

Fedora Dostoyevsky (man alive), Monday, 12 March 2018 02:01 (three months ago) Permalink

you could start with the "Preemptive Strike" compilation of early singles, then go to Entroducing, then stop.

just noticed tears shaped like florida. (sic), Monday, 12 March 2018 08:52 (three months ago) Permalink

Private Press has a few really good tracks, and it's worth hearing at least one of his live things (Brainfreeze, Product Placement etc.)

Fedora Dostoyevsky (man alive), Monday, 12 March 2018 14:13 (three months ago) Permalink

sic otm

here is how i would rank the essential material

what does your soul look like EP > zimbabwe legit - doing damage in my native language (shadow's legitimate mix) (track) > in/flux (track) > > lost and found (track) > endtroducing

the late great, Monday, 12 March 2018 16:11 (three months ago) Permalink

Private Press still my favorite in 2018

change display name (Jordan), Monday, 12 March 2018 16:22 (three months ago) Permalink

Private Press has some jams man I love the joint that flips Paul Simon

Listen to my homeboy Fantano (D-40), Monday, 12 March 2018 16:55 (three months ago) Permalink

'lost and found' was my introduction to shadow, still think it's one of his best songs and it sucks that's it's not on pre-emptive strike iirc. maybe bono blocked it?

i'm surprised to see your screwface at the door (NickB), Monday, 12 March 2018 17:05 (three months ago) Permalink

Private Press still my favorite in 2018

agreed

his recent rap collabs have been pretty listenable imo

Simon H., Monday, 12 March 2018 17:15 (three months ago) Permalink

this remix of 6 days is a soundtrack classic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUlqk1F3wn0

Listen to my homeboy Fantano (D-40), Monday, 12 March 2018 17:42 (three months ago) Permalink

this one was kinda ~balaeric~

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7rZGZLbsLs

Listen to my homeboy Fantano (D-40), Monday, 12 March 2018 17:43 (three months ago) Permalink

'high noon' and 'organ doner' are also classic non-endtroducing cuts. tbh i think every album of his is inconsistent or has boring parts, but there's peaks across the whole catalog (until he started making hyphy music)

Listen to my homeboy Fantano (D-40), Monday, 12 March 2018 17:44 (three months ago) Permalink

I've been trying to figure out where the hell I put my signed Private Press tour poster. Hope I didn't lose it in a move.

I'd say something about how it seems like forever ago that I was hanging around listening to Endtroducing and all the random remixes and singles a friend had hoarded, but it really has been twenty years!

the headz version of influx is the best one btw

organ donor was on endtroducing, just not the "(extended overhaul)" version which is essential

mh, Monday, 12 March 2018 17:50 (three months ago) Permalink

oh yeah i'm thinking of that one

Listen to my homeboy Fantano (D-40), Monday, 12 March 2018 17:51 (three months ago) Permalink

I still feel like the kool g rap feature from unkle goes extremely hard

Vapor waif (uptown churl), Monday, 12 March 2018 18:05 (three months ago) Permalink

Pre emptive is as essential as endtrouducing. Private press has blood on the motorway which is classic

kolakube (Ross), Monday, 12 March 2018 18:16 (three months ago) Permalink

unkle is similar to shadow in that they started strong and dropped off with quickness

the late great, Monday, 12 March 2018 18:16 (three months ago) Permalink

I still feel like the kool g rap feature from unkle goes extremely hard

― Vapor waif (uptown churl), Monday, March 12, 2018 1:05 PM (twenty-three minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

agree

Listen to my homeboy Fantano (D-40), Monday, 12 March 2018 18:28 (three months ago) Permalink

Pre emptive is as essential as endtrouducing. Private press has blood on the motorway which is classic

― kolakube (Ross), Monday, March 12, 2018 1:16 PM (twelve minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

this was the other one i was gonna mention from that album. three high points miminimum

Listen to my homeboy Fantano (D-40), Monday, 12 March 2018 18:29 (three months ago) Permalink

Fixed Income, Walkie Talkie, Six Days are my favs from that one. Also still think a lot about "ECOUTEZ/COUTEZ/COUTEZ SIT A VOUS/AVOUS/AVOUS POUR LE DANCE/DANCE/DANCE"

Fedora Dostoyevsky (man alive), Monday, 12 March 2018 18:39 (three months ago) Permalink

I can’t recall exactly what tracks I liked off private press, I just remember the drums being sick as fuck

i'm surprised to see your screwface at the door (NickB), Monday, 12 March 2018 18:45 (three months ago) Permalink

some of the longer tracks on preemptive strike are so good

marcos, Monday, 12 March 2018 19:00 (three months ago) Permalink

in/flux

prefer the Headz version to the Pre Emptive Strike one

papa don't take no meth (stevie), Monday, 12 March 2018 20:11 (three months ago) Permalink

i like both!

the late great, Monday, 12 March 2018 20:14 (three months ago) Permalink

Everybody otm. I also like this
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RFtLELeXVU

Vernon Locke, Monday, 12 March 2018 21:34 (three months ago) Permalink

This is v good fun too

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dfmpeo85IMs

Thomas NAGL (Neil S), Monday, 12 March 2018 21:36 (three months ago) Permalink

I'll defend the Private Press and its surrounding b-sides/remixes.

Ultimately it was disappointing, but how could he have possibly improved on Endtroducing? That being said, I've always thought 'Six Days' and 'Blood on the Motorway' are as good as anything from Endtroducing.

he doesn't need to be racist about it though. (Austin), Tuesday, 13 March 2018 04:00 (three months ago) Permalink

I’m not brimming with confidence that this is a broadly applicable opinion and it probably wouldn’t have been possible anyway, but: I feel like if Shadow had been able to put out Psyence Fiction as his sophomore album (instead of a friendly jumpstart for James Lavelle’s solo project that Lavelle would largely fail to build on) then The Private Press would’ve been a perfectly acceptable third record. His audience would have gotten the Endtroducing sound but bigger, more lavish, and with special guests, and they’d be looking for the kind of differences that Private Press offered instead of clamoring for the former thing from a record that didn’t have it. I’m not saying it would’ve necessarily prevented the panic spiral that constituted the next decade or so of his career, but he’d at least have been in a better headspace to avoid it.

You're all losing so many points on your progress bars (Champiness), Tuesday, 13 March 2018 04:51 (three months ago) Permalink

All of this of course being predicated upon my (admittedly not universal) opinion that Psyence Fiction lives up to the weighty reputation of Endtroducing, but even given the less charitable takes on that record I think it’d survive the sophomore-record scrutiny better than The Private Press did.

You're all losing so many points on your progress bars (Champiness), Tuesday, 13 March 2018 04:55 (three months ago) Permalink

That's a good point, psyence was definitely a transitional record

kolakube (Ross), Tuesday, 13 March 2018 04:57 (three months ago) Permalink

does he still do a quick break in the middle of organ donor to do it "live" by having the different organ notes on different sampler pads? it's one of those ideas that is so goofy that it worked

mh, Tuesday, 13 March 2018 13:55 (three months ago) Permalink

This remix is also pretty essential

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYE2x3gVMuM

groovypanda, Tuesday, 13 March 2018 14:08 (three months ago) Permalink

Private Press still my favorite in 2018

― change display name (Jordan), Monday, March 12, 2018 4:22 PM (yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

100% agree ... it's the only DJ Shadow album that I still listen to.

Full of bile and Blue Nile denial (Turrican), Tuesday, 13 March 2018 19:16 (three months ago) Permalink

Shadow also deserves a lot of credit for his work as a funk/breaks DJ imo, and as far as I can tell he was kind of on the leading edge of the whole rare funk thing that blew up later.

Fedora Dostoyevsky (man alive), Tuesday, 13 March 2018 21:07 (three months ago) Permalink

i mean, rap producers were, lol but yeah

Listen to my homeboy Fantano (D-40), Tuesday, 13 March 2018 21:13 (three months ago) Permalink

man alive otm

dj shadow / cut chemist - freeze dvd is an essential document as well

kolakube (Ross), Tuesday, 13 March 2018 22:42 (three months ago) Permalink

I highly recommend listening to his "Gourmet Dog Shit" ep of the Dogpatch podcast!

kurt schwitterz, Tuesday, 13 March 2018 23:45 (three months ago) Permalink


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.