DJ Shadow / Entroducing [Import] (2 Lp's)
Recorded at The Glue Factory, San Francisco, California. Though the sleeve notes of DJ Shadow's exhilarating long-playing debut speak of his devotion to "vinyl culture" and "sample-based music" (a guide of which is contained within), it's all just double-speak for hip-hop. Undoubtedly, this is the musical culture that lit up the life of young Cali-boy Josh Davis, inspiring him to construct these vocal-less, found-sound collages. Not the hip-hop that a dime-a-dozen MCs have turned into a cartoonish, excess-filled formula, but the hip-hop of such sonic anarchist producers as Afrika Bambaataa and The Bomb Squad. To put it mildly, DJ Shadow sides with the dope beats, not the bland blah-blah-blah. Shadow's skills with a drum machine power ENDTRODUCING... as much as his innovative def-ness with a sampler--which says a lot for someone who's been called the Jimi Hendrix of sampling. The songs shift tempos in a blink, incorporating multiple time-signatures, and it's to Shadow's credit that he's as comfortable hinting at Elvin Jones' or Dave Grohl's rhythmic attacks as he is citing old faithfuls like Clyde Stubblefield. His wide array of samples color the album's beat-heavy text. Ethereal horns, ambient keyboards, orchestral strings, vocoder vocals, whole film scenes--each is made a part of the sweeping focus, part of a grand postmodern design.