DJ Shadow (Born Josh Davis, 29.6.1972) DJ Shadow is a respected figure in the world of instrumental and experimental hip-hop and his notoriety stems largely from the release of his ground-breaking debut album, Endtroducing....
The Beginnings: DJ Shadow's music career began when he started to DJ for KDVS radio station. During this time, he worked with the influential California hip-hop label, Solesides and is credited with developing their signature style.
Solesides released DJ Shadow's earliest singles, including 'In Flux' and 'Lost and Found (S.F.L.)'. His influences included Prince Paul, Kurtis Mantonik and Steinski. Shadow tends towards using vocal samples, claiming that he finds the use of lyrics too restrictive and confining.
In 1991, DJ Shadow formed Quannum Projects, out of the remains of the Solesides label.
DJ Shadow has collaborated with a number of artists, such as Cut Chemist, Blackalicious, Dr. Octagon, Zack de la Rocha and Mos Def.
Major Projects: Endtroducing. is DJ Shadow's debut full-length album. It was released in 1996 and earned an entry in the Guinness World Records book for 'First Completely Sampled Album.' Shadow made the album using an AKAI MPC60, a pair of turntables and a copy of ProTools borrowed from his friend Dan The Automator.
In 1998, DJ Shadow released Preemptive Strike, which was a collection of his earliest singles. He also produced U.N.K.L.E.'s Psyence Fiction, a project that featured stars such as Thom Yorke of Radiohead, Mike D of Beastie Boys and Jason Newstead of Metallica.
DJ Shadow wrote the soundtrack for Dark Days, a documentary filmed by Mike Singer, a British director. The film follows a group of people who have reached a nadir in their life and are living in underground tunnels, in darkness.
2002 saw the release of DJ Shadow's second album proper. The Private Press was critically acclaimed, but did not meet the expectations that followed Endtroducing.
In 2004, DJ Shadow released the DVD In Tune and On Time, which featured footage of a live show in London.
The Outsider was released in 2006 and was initially released alongside a deluxe edition, with a DVD of tour visuals. The album contained a number of artists involved in the San Francisco bay hyphy hip-hop movement.
In 2005, as a tribute to DJ Shadow, Brain Udelhofen formulated the Shadow Percussion Project. The project aimed to recreate the sample-heavy tracks for a live band and DJ Shadow himself has given Udelhofen a thumbs-up for his efforts.
Written by Contactmusic.com
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There's something effortless about Josh Davis' sampling technique. It defies the usual genre classifications, without becoming a gimmick. While his DJ Shadow moniker has been associated with some of the finest examples of turntable trickery of the last 20 years, he's also had to deal with a backlash from fans as his output evolved. Summing that up in a two-disc compilation that provides an overview of four studio albums, numerous singles, and other collaborations is therefore not an easy task. However, Reconstructed: The Best Of DJ Shadow feels like a very accurate and compelling retelling of how Shadow got from College Radio to acclaimed producer and beyond.
It's really only the deluxe edition of Reconstructed that illustrates that journey properly. While 1996's Endtroducing was Davis' entrance into the mainstream, the 1994 single 'Lost And Found (S.F.L.), which can be found on the second disc here, was the quintessential DJ Shadow calling card. Sampling a U2 drumbeat and coupling it with a laid-back lounge groove, funk guitar and jazz trumpet, it creates a hypnotic soundscape which provides the template for the early DJ Shadow sound. You can hear the grooves and hiss of the vinyl bubbling away in the background between vocal samples and scratches. There's something unique and unforced about this concoction of disparate elements on the track, and that's the one unifying theme to all of Davis' work.
Davis may be well known for his love of beats as demonstrated by the inclusion of the extended versions of 'Midnight In A Perfect World' and 'Organ Donor', but he's also got a good ear for interesting guitar riffs. Thankfully, Reconstructed doesn't ignore those tracks with the inclusion of 'High Noon' and 'You Made It'. Neither does this compilation try to airbrush out Davis' indie Mo' Wax experiments with Unkle. Both Richard Ashcroft and Thom Yorke get a look in here, with the addition of 'Lonely Soul' and 'Rabbit In Your Headlights' respectively. While Davis was a key player in the development of what became known as Instrumental hip-hop, his movement away from this is also showcased here. While his third album The Outsider divided fans, in retrospect it included material such as the '70s soul infused 'This Time (I'm Gonna Try It My Way)', which sits comfortably alongside the more well-known tracks featured on Reconstructed.
Continue reading: DJ Shadow - Reconstructed: The Best Of DJ Shadow Album Review
Joshua Davis might not be a name many people would recognise, but under the alias of DJ Shadow he's established himself as one of dance music's most progressive and innovative musicians over the past twenty years. While debut album 'Endtroducing' has long been regarded as a groundbreaking record due it consisting almost entirely of samples, his subsequent recordings have seen him dabble with almost every conceivable genre from jazz and funk to ambient, folk and metal. It's perhaps not surprising then that despite being referenced as a contemporary hip hop artist, DJ Shadow's music is revered and respected by artists and consumers alike from all different corners.
Continue reading: Dj Shadow, The Less You Know, The Better Album Review
Since the early 1990's DJ Shadow has been a pioneer of electronic music and a constant revered name you'll find at the forefront of the Instrumental hip hop scene. With the release of his 1996 debut album, Endtroducing, DJ Shadow became a household name; noted as the first album to be constructed entirely from samples, Entroducing remains an important addition to the record box to any music collection.
Continue reading: DJ Shadow, Video Interview