|DJ Shadow – Endtroducing….. (1996)
So it’s around 1 or 2 AM, and I’m not really feeling like going to bed quite yet, so what music do I decide should ease me into these wee hours of the morning? Well lately it’s been the etherial hip-hop odyssey that is DJ Shadow’s debut Endtroducing…. I’m not saying it’ll put you to sleep, but for some reason it just seems like a good fit for those restless nights, I don’t know why.
This album would eventually make it into the Guinness book of world records for being the first album made completely of samples. All DJ Shadow used to make the album was a 12-bit sampling drum machine, a set of turntables, and an early version of Pro Tools. Now I’m sure just on that basis, if you’d never heard this album you probably say, “why would I want to listening to music that is made completely from non-original material?” And my answer would be that there really is an artistry to the way Shadow employs his encyclopedic knowledge of obscure music to create something that is quite the opposite of derivative. In fact there aren’t many albums that sound quite like it, not that I’d really know.
Endtroducing…. is generally classified as hip-hop, but really hip-hop is just one piece of the puzzle that is this album. The genre combines with jazz, funk, classical, and all sorts of different sounds to make an album that has a surprisingly somber tone, while still giving you plenty of funky moments as well. “Midnight In A Perfect World” probably best defines the heavy piano and funky drum sound that exemplifies the album, but if I had to pick a favorite track, it’d have to be the relentlessly bad-ass “The Number Song”.
So if you’re looking for something different, check it out. I mean how many people can say they have more than one instrumental hip-hop album in their collection? As far as I’m concerned, this might be the only one I’ll ever need.
Favorite Tracks: “The Number Song”, “Stem/Long Stem *Transmission 2”, “Midnight In A Perfect World”