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DJ Shadow


Art Vandelay
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DJ Shadow's latest album The Less You Know, The Better is coming out in September and I for one am pretty jazzed about it. Sample EP I Gotta Rokk has been out a few weeks and is really very good. I know The Outsider got a bit panned, and I can see why, but where everyone seemed to hate this schizophrenic mess he served up I just saw it as a pure artistic discharge. It was just everything he was currently listening to stuck through his MPC and shat out onto a CD.

Anyway, first up is this nasty claustrophobic number, very much in his 90s style. It goes totally bananas at the end too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JREAeD_BXbo

Then a jolly summery tune, which sounds a bit like Shuggie Otis with a bubbly bassline.

Then to finish up with the original stuff is the long leaked Def Surrounds Us which is this monstrous jungle tinged nightmare.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkP4mzOJ98M

There's some remixes too which are interesting takes on these tunes and I think he's been adding these to his live sets recently.

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I'll give it a listen, I can't help thinking he's become a bit of an idiot though. Compare his ramblings below to people like Benn Jordan, who made a stackload of cash by putting his old albums on torrent sites and putting a donate link in the folder, and then set up his own online record label to release and produce music, including his own.

"The biggest fear of any artist is just being ignored," he (Shadow) says, when we met again in May. "And, unfortunately, that's a very common fate for a lot of people who make music these days. As the music that I was making was, in my opinion, becoming better and better, it became more and more imperative to figure out how to not let it be lost or ignored or left by the roadside. Whereas 15 years ago, there would have been enough infrastructure, possibly, to accommodate a cult artist such as myself, in 2011, it's pop success or death. So I have to fight for this music's recognition."

Yeah, um, what. The comments on the article are quite funny.

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I don't think he's moaning about piracy as much as he's saying that music has become so accessible and disposable that critical discussion is in a very poor state. In a lot of ways I agree with his views on vinyl too as you do just have to sit down and listen to something from start to finish. I just skip about like a kid with ADHD when I use my iPod and don't properly listen to anything. He's always been pretty outspoken to be fair though.

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I had kind of forgotten about him but that first post has my interest - can't access YouTube at work but I'll check them out later. The Outsider was a mess but he's got enough good stuff in the bank that he'll always get another chance.

Where do I know the name Benn Jordan from, is he the Flashbulb guy?

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The fact he thinks his music is "getting better and better" shows he isn't exactly on the pulse. At least, in the opinion of this "conditioned, willing dupe".

He's not going to come out and say that it's getting worse though, is he? And I agree with his comments - there's so much stuff out there that is so easily acceptable that for something to 'stick' it has to be based more on luck than ever before.

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The fact he thinks his music is "getting better and better" shows he isn't exactly on the pulse. At least, in the opinion of this "conditioned, willing dupe".

Bit odd his comments on piracy too considering most of his songs used samples of other peoples music.. :huh:

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lol, if you've never heard any of his other stuff how can you possibly comment on it? Private Press is great.

You're right, it's an ignorant comment, but I don't here anyone mention anything else... But then I did forget entirely about Blood On The Motorway and where that came from. I need to hear that song NOW.

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And that mix he did for Radio 1. Ummm Diminishing Returns? It has some absolute bangers on it.

http://www.discogs.com/DJ-Shadow-Diminishing-Returns-Party-Pak/release/476322

Look at all the crap you got with the real copy

Bag contains 2 CD's, 2 stickers and 2 coasters.

Some even came with a free "Diminishing Returns" mesh-cap include

That's such a 2003 thing.

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The Outsider was an absolute abortion, lets never speak of it ever again. It simply doesn't exist.

:(

If he had cut the second half and just put out the hyphy stuff from the first half he would have had a pretty good short album/ep. droop e drop and seing things are especially good.

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'Seeing Things' was an absolute beast. I think The Outsider was ok, if a little all over the shop in terms of style. You're right, he should have stuck to the hyphy stuff. The Radiohead fan appeasing sub-Coldplay shite in the second half got the gas face and skipped.

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I saw DJ Shadow at Brixton academy in 2006 (I think), and the mass exodus to the bar / toilets when he started playing the Coldplay / Radiohead bedwetting anthems was something to behold. Great gig otherwise though, even if Shadow has quite an annoying, nasal voice and wouldn't stop talking between records. The live versions of 'Midnight in a Perfect World' and 'Blood on the Motorway' were awesome.

I haven't listened to the new EPs very much, but the vaguely soul-funk tune is great. I preferred the drum 'n bass remix of 'I Gotta Rokk' on first listen, but will give it more of a chance over the weekend.

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