when i first heard the now legendary “Entroducing” album by DJ Shadow back in 96 i wasn’t too impressed, to be honest. apart from the wonderful “Midnight In A Perfect World” nothing really clicked, but thanks to some friends who regarded me as a complete nutcase and an ignorant retard due to this fact, i listend again. and again. and again. and i still do. it still is one of those albums that never seems to get old. and, just by the way, it’s the first full length album in music history consisting completely of sampled music. jazz, soul, rock and of various other styles have been chopped up and rearranged into something new – hiphop one might say, but this time it’s been different. usually, this modus operandi had been used to create a backdrop for an MC but in DJ Shadow’s music, the better part of the tracks had been instrumental – this was new. and new artform – instrumental or abstract hiphop – had been created. the fact that a vast amount of other artists rusehd to copy that style and cause a full blown downbeat-lounge-irrelevancy all over the world should be mentioned, but not stressed too much here …
i remember quite well the night DJ Shadow played the Flex in Vienna with one of his musical lectures – with actually pausing between the tracks, explaining which music had been used, what trickery had been used in the cuts and more – all in a charming, enthusiastic way. not the attitude-laden superstar-turntablist one might expect. a soulful technician and master of the turntables with an encyclopedian knowledge of music in all of its forms. and definitely not afraid to try something new and unusual.
and now, a best of album and what i usually do – ask why and how and what does it mean – i just don’t. because it’s just great to listen to all those tracks assembled together. it seems that it just doesn’t matter, what Davis would take up into the mix, he always creates a beautiful new thing out of it – with a specific aesthetic and characteristic, unmistakably identifiable with DJ Shadow.
Reconstructed covers tracks from before and after “Entroducing”, some tracks from his band-project UNKLE plus a few new songs and as a whole – its an impressive collection of work from a great artist, to say the least. go get it. this is, in addition to “Entroducing”, this is already a classic.