DJ Shadow still makes magic out of the record-store dollar bin | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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DJ Shadow still makes magic out of the record-store dollar bin

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DJ Shadow wasn’t the first to repurpose sampled records into wholly original music, or even the first to do it artfully—there were Double Dee and Steinski, the Dust Brothers, and Negativland, not to mention hundreds of hip-hop producers. But with his early singles and the long-player masterpiece Endtroducing . . . (Mo’ Wax, 1996), Shadow was the first to make sophisticated, drawn-out, cinematic sample-based cuts that were both undeniably hip-hop and yet something else entirely. Most critics categorized it as “trip-hop,” but in truth it was a new, completely fresh progression of hip-hop; it existed somewhere in the gaps between that genre and indie, electronic music, and musique concrete—plus, it wasn’t unapproachable. In the time since Shadow has moved away from suitelike compositions and toward more traditional song formats, but he’s still experimenting with how far he can push hip-hop’s boundaries. Last year’s The Mountain Will Fall (Mass Appeal) has brief tracks but still surfs through dubstep, jazz, and IDM while making room for a boom-bap banger like “Nobody Speak,” featuring Run the Jewels. Judging from past performances, you won’t want to miss Shadow’s dexterous handling of turntables and a drum machine, whether the playing is unadorned or accompanied by some kind of multimedia showcase. During his Pitchfork Music Festival appearance in 2011, he was surrounded by a giant orb with videos projected onto it.   v

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