California's Josh Davis--aka DJ Shadow
would have no easy ride in making The Private Press
after his debut Endtroducing
wreaked havoc in the dance and hip-hop communities. Constructed entirely around samples, yet defiantly and thrillingly original, it took searching for dusty breaks in old thrift stores to new levels. With its serious b-boy underpinnings and potently stark soundtrack feel, it heralded in a whole new era of instrumental hip-hop. A zillion copycats have landed on the bandwagon since, but Shadow has kept on top of his game, keeping his hand in with various collaborations (Blackalicious
, Unkle, Cut Chemist and superlative 12s like "High Noon" and "Pre-emptive Strike". Now, a full six years later, he's back with a follow up that is every bit as impressive as his debut but in a different way.
Once again, the producer has pushed his sampler to the limits, but this time he's brought with it a deeper, hungrier, more bad-ass spirit that's rarely found in modern dance music. There's a fabulous 80s vibe throughout (seen principally on tracks like "Monosylabik" and "You Can't Go Home Again") and the expected forays into b-boy culture (check the funky-ass collaboration with Lateef "Mashin On The Motorway"). While it's identifiably Shadow, it ain't "Endtroducing
Part 2". It is a worthy and imaginative follow up with humour, wisdom and musical understanding aplenty. It'll definitely enhance any record collection. --Paul Sullivan
Madder Than The Last One!