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  • Adrian's Album Reviews |

    DJ Shadow

    1st

    Entroducing ( 1996 )
    Best Foot Forward / Building Steam With a Grain of Salt / The Number Song / Changeling **Transmission 1 / What Does Your Soul Look Like (Part 4) / [untitled] / Stem/Long Stem **Transmission 2 / Mutual Slump / Organ Donor / Why Hip Hop Sucks in '96 / Midnight in a Perfect World / Napalm Brain/Scatter Brain / What Does Your Soul Look Like (Part 1 - Blue Sky Revisit) **Transmission 3

    Trip Hop, Hip Hop and the turntable DJ creating a true work of art. New music from old, truly new music from old and an album way ahead of its time. Just a new level to grow from? Perhaps this is a deeply spiritual LP, those sounds taken from old records capturing even the ambience in the room when the original records were recorded. Not just the sounds are used but it seems DJ Shadow has also mixed in the ambience. The speech samples are used intelligently rather than to create a tagline to a song, in the way the hideous Fatboy slim might do. No, this isn't pop music this is a musical work creating a new genre at which DJ Shadow is the forefront, the forerunner historically. Music it's impossible to imagine creating yourself. I like surprises like this. Reviews of this record on the web are almost universally positive. Some even labelling this at the foremost record of its genre. It's hard to argue with such positive praise, although usually i'm the first to try and pick holes in something if holes are in there. It's not so easy to poke a finger at this LP and find a hole, a gaping chasm into which you can place your own imagination and improve the recording at hand. What if they'd done this? What if they hadn't done that? There's almost too much skill and creativity on display. When we reach 'Changeling' there's truly dreamlike music that we have here. It does to use a cliche transcend any genres. Well, catchall term, it's dance music. Still, when did you last hear hip-hop music sound quite like this? No rapping of course, so we need much on display and going on to fill in the gaps and now there's aren't any. It works for me.

    By the way, this is the second time i've reviewed this LP. It's getting the same rating both times out, which is an excellent rating. The common perception is that i'm underrating the release. Well, that's all a matter of personal taste. I'm still giving this a wonderful rating, remember that. It's at the high end but this album, great and soulful that it is, doesn't move me in the way the far more modest 'Friends' by The Beach Boys does. Closer to home, Orbital's magnificent 'Snivilisation' LP ranks with this for me, although there's no doubting this is the greater acheivement. Oh, 'Midnight In A Perfect World' is a great representative track from this album. Spiritual, heavy and dark yet with light shining through the windows. A perfect modern apartment overlooking the city centre. A new level to grow from.

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