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Spacelab Retrograde: DJ Shadow - Endtroducing ...


By: Corey Tate
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March 13, 2014


An album that defines what "redefinition" means: Endtroducing ... by DJ Shadow. Released in 1996 via the record label Mo' Wax, Endtroducing ... took sampled content and crate digging to a level never heard before using minimal equipment, largely the Akai MPC60 sampler and turntables. What the album is largely known for though, is not the method but the vibe, or vibes, that completely ooze out of every song. Hip hop, jazz, soul, and some of the new ideas emanating out of electronic music in the 90’s: ambient, jungle, trip-hop and breakbeat. It even defined a genre of its own: turntablism.

DJ Shadow emerged as a songwriter, rivaling Paul Westerberg as a new songwriter embracing new ideas. Sampling surely wasn't new, but using sampled content to weave together sounds in such a dense way really hadn't been done before. And the whole album doesn't sound bombastic like the work that Hank Shocklee and the Bomb Squad did with Public Enemy, it actually was focused and had vision all over it.

“Midnight in a Perfect World” captured the essence of the album perfectly. Samples from David Axelrod, Pekka Pohjola and Marlena Shaw are guided so effortlessly that you'd swear that they were made to be mixed together (listen to each of them below to see how they fit into the song). And the classic opening  lyrics: "Insight, foresight, more sight. The clock on the wall is a quarter past midnight.”

David Axelrod - The Human Abstract

Pekka Pohjola - Sekoilu Seestyy

Marlena Shaw - California Soul


DJ Shadow - Endtroducing ... Tracklist

0:00 - Best Foot Forward

0:47 - Building Steam with a Grain of Salt

7:25 - The Number Song

12:01 - Changeling" / "Transmission 1

19:51 - What Does Your Soul Look Like

24:53 - Untitled

25:19 - Stem/Long Stem / "Transmission 2

34:35 - Mutual Slump

38:35 - Organ Donor

40:33 - Why Hip Hop Sucks in '96

41:17 - Midnight in a Perfect World

46:15 - Napalm Brain/Scatter Brain

55:37 - What Does Your Soul Look Like / Transmission 3




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Spacelab Retrograde: DJ Shadow - Endtroducing ...

DJ Shadow - Endtroducing ... Cover

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