We’ve got a debut album on the listen for today from the year of 1996. It’s tempting to Mannochi this record, but you can do so yourself if you hit the wiki area of “reception”.
DJ Shadow – Entroducing….
Listen to it here: http://grooveshark.com/#!/playlist/DJ+Shadow+Entroducing/68232923
Read about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endtroducing…..
On this (apx) Date one year ago: Rc was listening to the sweet love tones of Lovage – “Music to make love to your old Lady by”
Fun Facts: He (Shadow) has an exceptionally large personal record collection, with over 60,000 records. He is the cousin of singer and guitarist Richie Kotzen (of the even worse Poison years)
|DJ Shadow – Endtroducing…
Preconceptions: I’m assuming it’s rap?
Least favorite track/tracks:
Overall (1-5 stars): 2.5
|DJ Shadow – Endtroducing…..: 4.5 stars
Precon: I know this one pretty well but haven’t heard any of his other albums. He is perhaps the most well known member of my favorite indie hip hop label, Quannum Projects, which includes Blackalicious, Lyrics Born, Lateef, Pigeon John, the Lifesavas, basically anyone who’s awesome. I had heard his name before but didn’t really discover him until I discovered Blackalicious and then the rest of Quannum around 2002. In 2003, I saw him at the now defunct Avalon in Boston with all the guys listed above, except for PJ, on the Quannum World Tour, which was probably the best hip hop show I’ve ever seen. They had a big screen behind the stage and Shadow was using what he claimed was the only DVD turntable in the world to scratch video along with the music. It was pretty crazy. Oh, I also know him from the movie Dark Days, which is an incredible marriage of music and film. It’s a must see if you haven’t already. Btw, it might seem like it, but this isn’t my pick.
Favorite Track: Building Steam With a Grain of Salt
Building Steam With a Grain of Salt still gives me chills. The creepy Michael Myers piano with the aaaahhh-ahh-aahhhh’s and then the crazy chopped up drums and that yummy bass line…it’s equal parts eerie and awesome.
Magic the Gathering: Devour in Shadow
Preconceived Notions: This is a curiosity pick of mine. I think I know what to expect…on the whole, but I just thought it was about time to hear one of his entire albums.
After Listening: So, I had heard a lot more of that album than I thought I had. It’s like each track has managed to seep into culture, in some form or another, one at a time. Or maybe that’s just the nature of sampling, you always feel like you’ve heard it before, but I think that familiarity always lets me grasp on to something more than just a cold listen. I really, really wish I wasn’t at work, listening to this. Each track is quite long, especially for a first listen, but there’s so much going on, that it feels like you could probably hear something new, each time. I’m a big fan of the string and piano-based works, and most of it is all done with the atmosphere of something that is, probably appropriately for someone named DJ Shadow, noir-ish. It kind of feels like this could be the soundtrack to a David Fincher version of Blade Runner. It’s threatening and entrancing and unexpected all at the same time.
Overall: 4.0 –I’m being conservative here, mostly because I’d like to give the album some room to grow for future listens for me. I’m really pleased with it, and glad that my curiosity didn’t lead me astray, but now that I know more what to expect, I’d like to give it a listen in a different setting and see if my mind can just wander and go with it.
Favorite: Probably the ones that sound most familiar to me Building Steam with A Grain O/ Stem/Longstem/Transmission 2/ Midnight in a Perfect World (which I still think sounds like the opening of Tears For Fears’ “Sowing the Seeds of Love)
|Preconceived Notions: Though not my pick, I am familiar with DJ Shadow, enough to have respect for the man – if not rabid fandom. I haven’t ever owned an album, or listened to more than say 2 tracks off of any one of his albums or mix tapes. So I am genuinely excited for this opportunity to listen to his debut-which by all accounts is that type of “game changing” work that people so often tout and so few live up.
After Listening: To me this album definitely was what I anticipated – and that’s a good thing. Unlike most reviews for albums I like, I can’t go on and on about this record simply b/c it’s too difficult without having someone listen along side you. It’s a sound collage, and while some things are very simple – describing their interplay is not. I don’t really know if it’s 100% accurate to say that this is the 1st record to be completely derived from sampling – but it no doubt was an original concept and uniquely Shadow. It’s an interesting debate you can have about how artistic it really is to “borrow” directly from audio recordings for your own creation, and personally I think it has to be done with extreme care. Fortunately Shadow has capable hands for this – b/c when sampling you’re really looking for source material, and then arrangement of that material. The source material will give a glimpse into the artist’s influences and background, the arrangements will showcase his/her talents. .
Favorite Track: Most of the album flows together in an ever changing, subtle journey…so breaking them out is not ideal, but I will make mention of Stem/Long Stem as an incredible piece capable of standing alone. His sample choices are stunning (he samples the other Nirvana!!), and it almost has a Kronos feel to the rhythm.
Overall 4.625 This is another good album that’s not for every occasion and probably not an entire listen each time you pop it in. A sonic experiment, it’s to be lauded for that and that it came out consonant could be regarded as a bonus I’m sure by most. Production on this scale, arrangement with this attention to detail is deserving of the verb “composing” – even though we recognize the melodies and any lyrics as the creation of others…the collaboration of these ideas are uniquely Shadow.
|DJ Shadow – Entroducing…
Preconceptions: This was one of the regular shop CDs when I worked at Dark Side in the late 90s. I kinda liked that one song, a little.
After Listening: Why did I preguess this so low? This will have the highest disparity between guess and actual rating this season.
Tight: I could listen to that piano loop on Building Steam with a Grain of Salt all freaking day. The punchline inWhy Hip Hop Sucks in 97 is as true in 2012 as it was in 1997.
Overall: I can’t tell you what I was thinking when I guessed this at a 0.5. Perhaps I was confusing Shadow with Scribble, or it was a natural reaction to the always silly “DJ” honorific. This album was in frequent rotation in Dark Side Tattoo’s backroom machine shop, along with Hello Nasty, Lords of Oi!, some crappy Seven Mary Three album, and the greatest hits of Desi Arnez. Perhaps it sounds different over the sound of niobium bar stock being lathed into plugs but I don’t remember it being so damn good. Olivia Newton John and maybe Lenny Bruce punctuate the mixed genre music samples with amusing movie dialogue. The six to nine minute tracks don’t feel anywhere as long as similar length tracks from, say, Titus Andronicus or Lovage. I guess it’s like Peter Jackson versus Vincent Gallo. Let’s keep more of this coming, kids.