Magazine Recommends… Endtroducing
Its title is apt in that this is the first, and last, album by DJ Shadow. Let us qualify that a little: Yes the artist has produced records since, and with more than a few fine tracks on them, but none were quite that album. According to the DJ himself that is by design:
“Repeat Endtroducing over and over again? That was never, ever in the game plan. Fuck that. So I think it’s time for certain fans to decide if they are fans of the album, or the artist.”
Which Magazine feels is fair enough, we’re overwhelmingly grateful in the first place simply for the album’s existence itself.
It is hard to dispute that Endtroducing is a massive achievement, purely on a technical level. Even if you don’t like the music - you are entitled to not do so - the composition by intricate selection, editing and assemblage of a myriad samples recorded from vinyl records over a period of two years (using the legendary Akai MPC60 sampling workstation) deserves more than a little respect. To a lover of the collage that it is, this also goes some way to explaining how what is effectively a solo production effort can be the subject of such effusive fanboi fawning about its aural wonder. Because it isn’t.
Hold up - roll up.
Most highly praised or appreciated works comprise of the input of a whole plethora numbered by writers, performers, engineers, producers and technicians. Screw ‘too many cooks’ - the combined efforts of a highly orchestrated collective is insufficient, but mostly necessary for, the creation of a Great Work of Art™. Even if their part is minimal, each of the many hands a work passes through polish or round off one aspect or dimension, creating pebbles from rocks.
The DJ isn’t *ahem* over-Shadowed by the realisation that his role here is actually one of a conductor as much as a composer - the multitude of personnel involved in each of the cuts from which the album is derived in effect makes it the collaboration of a huge sprawling morass over time and place and exactly explains - the DJ’s achievement in no way undermined - why we say: go listen. Go figure.
Non-affliate purchase link: Island Records
∞ Last edit/update on: 14 / 3 / 2023