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Trip Hop - Released January 1, 1996 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
As a suburban California kid, DJ Shadow tended to treat hip-hop as a musical innovation, not as an explicit social protest, which goes a long way toward explaining why his debut album, Endtroducing....., sounded like nothing else at the time of its release. Using hip-hop, not only its rhythms but its cut-and-paste techniques, as a foundation, Shadow created a deep, endlessly intriguing world on Endtroducing....., one where there are no musical genres, only shifting sonic textures and styles. Shadow created the entire album from samples, almost all pulled from obscure, forgotten vinyl, and the effect is that of a hazy, half-familiar dream -- parts of the record sound familiar, yet it's clear that it only suggests music you've heard before, and that the multi-layered samples and genres create something new. And that's one of the keys to the success of Endtroducing.....: it's innovative, but it builds on a solid historical foundation, giving it a rich, multifaceted sound. It's not only a major breakthrough for hip-hop and electronica, but for pop music. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Trip Hop - Released January 1, 2002 | Geffen*

Five years on from his breakout Endtroducing..., hip-hop's reigning recluse showed he still had plenty of tricks up his sleeve -- as well as many more rare grooves left for sampling. Shadow had kept a low recording profile during past years, putting out only a few mix sets alongside a pair of collaborations (Psyence Fiction by UNKLE and Quannum Spectrum). That lack of product actually helps The Private Press display just how good a producer he is; the depth of his production sense and the breadth of his stylistic palette prove just as astonishing the second time out. His style is definitely still recognizable, right from the start; "Fixed Income" and "Giving Up the Ghost" carefully layer wistful-sounding string arrangements overtop cavernous David Axelrod breaks (the latter a bit reminiscent of "Midnight in a Perfect World" from Endtroducing...). From there, though, DJ Shadow seldom treads the same path twice, switching from strutting disco breaks ("Walkie Talkie") to melancholy '60s pop that sounds like the second coming of Procol Harum ("Six Days"). "Right Thing/GDMFSOB" is pure breakers revenge, boasting accelerating, echoey electro breakbeats and enough confidence to recycle Leonard Nimoy's "pure energy" sample and make it work. Later, Shadow turns to pure aggro for the hilarious road-rage comedy of "Mashin' on the Motorway" (with Lateef the Truth Speaker behind the wheel), then summons the conceptual calm of a David Axelrod classic on the very next track with solo piano and a vocal repeating Bible text. Fans may have grown impatient waiting almost six years for the second DJ Shadow LP, but a classic like The Private Press could last at least that long, and maybe longer. [Initially, most copies of The Private Press on sale in America included a track available for download as a bonus.] © John Bush /TiVo
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Electronic - Released January 1, 2012 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

The problem with compiling experimental, instrumental hip-hop producer DJ Shadow is that his two-decade-plus career has yielded a mere five albums, and one of those is 1996's Endtroducing..., a mammothly influential release, the first album that was comprised entirely of samples, and one that's beloved beyond belief. This one-disc compilation deals with its Sgt Pepper's-sized, must-have classic status by grabbing two important cuts off the album, putting the aptly titled, nocturnal dream "Midnight in a Perfect World" right up front and dropping the single edit of the serene "Stem" between a new cut (a jazzy, life-journey called "Listen" with the full-bodied, bluesy voice of Terry Reid) and the best bit off his Private Press (2002) album (the Procol Harum-meets-David Axelrod-ish "Six Days"). Not only are they the best reminders for fans, but that leaves plenty of music for newcomers to discover once Endtroducing… is acquired; but where Reconstructed really wins is with the rest, rounding up the best bits that more casual fans might have missed (the moody and refined drifter "Redeemed" off 2011's The Less You Know, The Better, or 2006's The Outsider being represented by the Bill Withers-bright blast of soul called "This Time (I'm Gonna Try It My Way)") along with some rare cuts that reach out of the usual discography (the funky introvert-dubbed "Lonely Soul" with Richard Ashcroft is actually from the trip-hop supergroup U.N.K.L.E., of which Shadow was a once a member). Exiting with the subterranean and special "Dark Days" from the film of the same name earns the comp some extra credit, but the boom-bap-meets-Duane Eddy track does bring up an arguable point: that Reconstructed favors the deep, crafted, and cool side of Shadow's output over his more outgoing and heavily rap-based work. Still, it's a fine set, worth owning along with Endtroducing… while giving beat-friendly newcomers a very persuasive career-to-date overview. © David Jeffries /TiVo
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Electronic - Released January 1, 2012 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

The problem with compiling experimental, instrumental hip-hop producer DJ Shadow is that his two-decade-plus career has yielded a mere five albums, and one of those is 1996's Endtroducing..., a mammothly influential release, the first album that was comprised entirely of samples, and one that's beloved beyond belief. This one-disc compilation deals with its Sgt Pepper's-sized, must-have classic status by grabbing two important cuts off the album, putting the aptly titled, nocturnal dream "Midnight in a Perfect World" right up front and dropping the single edit of the serene "Stem" between a new cut (a jazzy, life-journey called "Listen" with the full-bodied, bluesy voice of Terry Reid) and the best bit off his Private Press (2002) album (the Procol Harum-meets-David Axelrod-ish "Six Days"). Not only are they the best reminders for fans, but that leaves plenty of music for newcomers to discover once Endtroducing… is acquired; but where Reconstructed really wins is with the rest, rounding up the best bits that more casual fans might have missed (the moody and refined drifter "Redeemed" off 2011's The Less You Know, The Better, or 2006's The Outsider being represented by the Bill Withers-bright blast of soul called "This Time (I'm Gonna Try It My Way)") along with some rare cuts that reach out of the usual discography (the funky introvert-dubbed "Lonely Soul" with Richard Ashcroft is actually from the trip-hop supergroup U.N.K.L.E., of which Shadow was a once a member). Exiting with the subterranean and special "Dark Days" from the film of the same name earns the comp some extra credit, but the boom-bap-meets-Duane Eddy track does bring up an arguable point: that Reconstructed favors the deep, crafted, and cool side of Shadow's output over his more outgoing and heavily rap-based work. Still, it's a fine set, worth owning along with Endtroducing… while giving beat-friendly newcomers a very persuasive career-to-date overview. © David Jeffries /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released June 24, 2016 | Mass Appeal

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Rock - Released June 4, 2002 | Universal Music Enterprises

Five years on from his breakout Endtroducing..., hip-hop's reigning recluse showed he still had plenty of tricks up his sleeve -- as well as many more rare grooves left for sampling. Shadow had kept a low recording profile during past years, putting out only a few mix sets alongside a pair of collaborations (Psyence Fiction by UNKLE and Quannum Spectrum). That lack of product actually helps The Private Press display just how good a producer he is; the depth of his production sense and the breadth of his stylistic palette prove just as astonishing the second time out. His style is definitely still recognizable, right from the start; "Fixed Income" and "Giving Up the Ghost" carefully layer wistful-sounding string arrangements overtop cavernous David Axelrod breaks (the latter a bit reminiscent of "Midnight in a Perfect World" from Endtroducing...). From there, though, DJ Shadow seldom treads the same path twice, switching from strutting disco breaks ("Walkie Talkie") to melancholy '60s pop that sounds like the second coming of Procol Harum ("Six Days"). "Right Thing/GDMFSOB" is pure breakers revenge, boasting accelerating, echoey electro breakbeats and enough confidence to recycle Leonard Nimoy's "pure energy" sample and make it work. Later, Shadow turns to pure aggro for the hilarious road-rage comedy of "Mashin' on the Motorway" (with Lateef the Truth Speaker behind the wheel), then summons the conceptual calm of a David Axelrod classic on the very next track with solo piano and a vocal repeating Bible text. Fans may have grown impatient waiting almost six years for the second DJ Shadow LP, but a classic like The Private Press could last at least that long, and maybe longer. [Initially, most copies of The Private Press on sale in America included a track available for download as a bonus.] © John Bush /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 1998 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released October 28, 2016 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

As a suburban California kid, DJ Shadow tended to treat hip-hop as a musical innovation, not as an explicit social protest, which goes a long way toward explaining why his debut album, Endtroducing....., sounded like nothing else at the time of its release. Using hip-hop, not only its rhythms but its cut-and-paste techniques, as a foundation, Shadow created a deep, endlessly intriguing world on Endtroducing....., one where there are no musical genres, only shifting sonic textures and styles. Shadow created the entire album from samples, almost all pulled from obscure, forgotten vinyl, and the effect is that of a hazy, half-familiar dream -- parts of the record sound familiar, yet it's clear that it only suggests music you've heard before, and that the multi-layered samples and genres create something new. And that's one of the keys to the success of Endtroducing.....: it's innovative, but it builds on a solid historical foundation, giving it a rich, multifaceted sound. It's not only a major breakthrough for hip-hop and electronica, but for pop music. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released November 15, 2019 | Mass Appeal

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Dance - Released January 1, 2006 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

The Outsider is either a concept record about musical schizophrenia or a warehouse for 18 of the most idiosyncratic productions of DJ Shadow's career. And, to complicate matters, many of them are excellent. Although it trails his second production LP by only four years, The Outsider sounds like it includes the detritus of a decade's worth of false starts: celebrity production jobs (one track was originally intended for Zack de la Rocha), anonymously released comeback singles (the regional radio hit "3 Freaks"), collaborations with art rock figures (Kasabian, Chris James from a band called Stateless, Christina Carter from Charalambides), and a cavalcade of talented guest vocalists and rappers who predictably underperform (or get overwhelmed by their productions). The best thing about The Outsider is that it rarely attempts to be Endtroducing, Pt. 2. In fact, mainstream rap commands the first third of the record. Setting aside his sampler for a few tracks, Shadow proves that Lil Jon has nothing on him. (Certainly, if Shadow ever made a concerted effort at commercial rap production, Scott Storch would soon be back making sandwiches in Philly.) For "3 Freaks," he pushes a couple of San Francisco's finest hyphy hip-hop stars, Keak da Sneak and Turf Talk, for a digital track that's as experimental as should be expected from Shadow, but just commercial enough to light up urban radio. (Granted, rap radio can be a surprisingly experimental place.) The paranoid synth of "Turf Dancing" finds Shadow cruising out to Vallejo, David Banner stops by for "Seein Thangs," and the Sick Wid It fiend Nump spins a tale of gritty paranoia on "Keep Em Close." From there, the roller coaster begins banking sharply; Shadow follows up a New Orleans guitar elegy worthy of Hendrix himself with a madcap punk-into-R&B instrumental. His tribute to John Cage precedes the Kasabian feature, and vocalist Chris James is drafted to impersonate Bono on "Erase You" (where he continually intones an interesting phrase, "under the blood red sky") and, two tracks later, Chris Martin on "You Made It." Aside from the artist himself, the only other thing that unifies this record is a crack band called the Heliocentrics, which proves its chops throughout the LP -- but nowhere better than on the first song, a dead ringer for Marvin Gaye's "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)" with vocals from a singer that not even DJ Shadow could identify (probably picked up during one of his record-shop binges). The Outsider is a carefully crafted, artistically elusive mess -- far more scattershot than even his first UNKLE record (Psyence Fiction), but much more interesting for its excellent productions. © John Bush /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 2002 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2005 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

As a suburban California kid, DJ Shadow tended to treat hip-hop as a musical innovation, not as an explicit social protest, which goes a long way toward explaining why his debut album, Endtroducing....., sounded like nothing else at the time of its release. Using hip-hop, not only its rhythms but its cut-and-paste techniques, as a foundation, Shadow created a deep, endlessly intriguing world on Endtroducing....., one where there are no musical genres, only shifting sonic textures and styles. Shadow created the entire album from samples, almost all pulled from obscure, forgotten vinyl, and the effect is that of a hazy, half-familiar dream -- parts of the record sound familiar, yet it's clear that it only suggests music you've heard before, and that the multi-layered samples and genres create something new. And that's one of the keys to the success of Endtroducing.....: it's innovative, but it builds on a solid historical foundation, giving it a rich, multifaceted sound. It's not only a major breakthrough for hip-hop and electronica, but for pop music. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Electronic - Released October 3, 2011 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

Proud to be a turntable throwback in an age of iPod mixers, DJ Shadow constructs his beats (and tracks, and mixes) from the ground up. The result is an album that sounds unlike any other, even though it's comprised of countless bits and pieces of vinyl history. The Less You Know, The Better, his fourth studio album and first in five years, also sounds closer to his classic Endtroducing..... than any of his others, as though Shadow's finally willing to embrace his career landmark instead of constantly play against type. It contrasts starkly with 2006’s The Outsider, which was heavily rap-based. (Here, only Posdnuos and Talib Kweli rhyme, and they're both on the same track.) Instead, Shadow focuses on plumbing the depths of his record collection, occasionally flashing and scratching like in his salad days, but just as often pulling slabs of forgotten wax -- metal riffs, piano balladry, bygone acid-rock burnouts, crystalline female folkies -- to state his case for him. As on Endtroducing....., his ear for interesting obscurities is nearly faultless, but he seems to have less patience than earlier in his career. The first seven tracks, each under three-and-a-half minutes, flit from style to style so quickly that heads will spin, and he doesn't quite connect the dots between tracks as well as he was doing in the mid-'90s. (Granted, anyone looking for a single to pull from the album has a clear winner, “Warning Call” featuring fellow Island Records artist Tom Vek.) Shadow certainly followed a tough road to get this album released: two singles previously released for the album faced samples-clearance issues and didn't make the final program (which makes it clear that this wasn't the exact album he had in mind originally). Except for the occasionally bumpy ride, though, The Less You Know, The Better is one of the most entertaining albums of the year, with countless moments of brilliance. Being a throwback means there aren't many like you, and the album positively shines compared to the rest of instrumental hip-hop in the 2000s and 2010s. In that sense, it proves the wisdom of the cover design, where a trio of cartoonish consumer-electronic devices attempt to whitewash the album title off a billboard. © John Bush /TiVo
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Electronic - Released October 3, 2011 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

Proud to be a turntable throwback in an age of iPod mixers, DJ Shadow constructs his beats (and tracks, and mixes) from the ground up. The result is an album that sounds unlike any other, even though it's comprised of countless bits and pieces of vinyl history. The Less You Know, The Better, his fourth studio album and first in five years, also sounds closer to his classic Endtroducing..... than any of his others, as though Shadow's finally willing to embrace his career landmark instead of constantly play against type. It contrasts starkly with 2006’s The Outsider, which was heavily rap-based. (Here, only Posdnuos and Talib Kweli rhyme, and they're both on the same track.) Instead, Shadow focuses on plumbing the depths of his record collection, occasionally flashing and scratching like in his salad days, but just as often pulling slabs of forgotten wax -- metal riffs, piano balladry, bygone acid-rock burnouts, crystalline female folkies -- to state his case for him. As on Endtroducing....., his ear for interesting obscurities is nearly faultless, but he seems to have less patience than earlier in his career. The first seven tracks, each under three-and-a-half minutes, flit from style to style so quickly that heads will spin, and he doesn't quite connect the dots between tracks as well as he was doing in the mid-'90s. (Granted, anyone looking for a single to pull from the album has a clear winner, “Warning Call” featuring fellow Island Records artist Tom Vek.) Shadow certainly followed a tough road to get this album released: two singles previously released for the album faced samples-clearance issues and didn't make the final program (which makes it clear that this wasn't the exact album he had in mind originally). Except for the occasionally bumpy ride, though, The Less You Know, The Better is one of the most entertaining albums of the year, with countless moments of brilliance. Being a throwback means there aren't many like you, and the album positively shines compared to the rest of instrumental hip-hop in the 2000s and 2010s. In that sense, it proves the wisdom of the cover design, where a trio of cartoonish consumer-electronic devices attempt to whitewash the album title off a billboard. © John Bush /TiVo
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Electronic - Released August 25, 2014 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2011 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released July 13, 2018 | Mass Appeal

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Electronic - Released January 1, 2011 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

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Electronic - Released June 16, 2021 | MJC

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released April 14, 2016 | Mass Appeal

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DJ Shadow in the magazine