Wednesday, 3 February 2016
*NOTE* an astute reader alerted me to the fact that "Entropy" was missing from the "B-Sides & Remixes" link I have no idea how that happened and as it's an essential piece of Shadow's work I have re-inserted "Entropy" and re uploaded the whole pack for you all so the new link is up below...."
I have wanted to do a post on this guy since the beginning of the blog and though I post a lot of punk/metal etc many of my favorite artists lie outside that small scene and to me just listening to one kind of music is like going to the worlds biggest buffet table and just eating Bread!
I first came across DJ Shadow in 1996 when I was working at a Virgin records store he had just released his debut album "Endtroducing" and I picked it up because this new scene of music known as "Trip Hop" was just starting to gain some traction and I had heard the recent Portishead and Massive Attack albums and heard something new in these bands I really liked a lot so when I read about this album I REALLY wanted to check it out Initially I didn't really like it, I had little experience of Instrumental music at that time and it just seemed a bit like background music without any lyrics/vocals to focus on, so I shelved it for a while.However some more astute friends when visiting would request it played and the more I heard it the more i realized this was a work of sheer genius and that was really the beginning of my infatuation with that mid 90's - early 00's Instrumental hip hop beats which i still love to this day!
DJ Shadow has not really been the most prolific of artists as far as albums are concerned having only done 4 actual albums in his over 25 year career however for the sake of this post I am mainly going to concentrate on the era from 1991 - 2000 although some of the recordings fall well outside of that date it's mainly this era we are dealing with as whilst I'm a fan of pretty much all the music he has done he has always progressed his music forward throughout the years and tried to main contemporary and unique whilst in most cases this is great I feel it's early sample based work that is rooted in hip hop and DJ culture and it's the stuff I like the best and wanted to share here.
DJ Shadow began experimenting with beats and hip hop whilst still in high school using a 4 track recorder for these early experiments but his work would not see a vinyl release until 1991 (*NOTE* A self released cassette called "Hip Hop Reconstruction From The Ground Up" was his official first release and was released by Shadow in 1991 in order to gain some promotion for his work I do have a copy of this but it has more of the feel of a radio mix and the sound quality is a little tinny but anyone who would like it posting comment and I can upload it) His first appearance on vinyl was a remix of the track "Real Deal" by rap artists Lifers Group backed with his original composition "Lesson 4" and in 1992 he contributed production work and his unique scratching style to the album "Sleeping With The Enemy" By rapper Paris.However despite building a name and various production work and remixing it would not be until 1994 when Shadow came to the attention of James Lavelle the man behind UNKLE and the then fledgling jazz breaks/hip hop label Mo Wax Records that the ball would really start rolling for Shadow as an artist. His debut for the label "In/Flux" backed with "Hindsight" which would be credited to DJ Shadow & The Groove Robbers (The Groove Robbers being his nickname for his turntables at the time) This epic 12 min piece would basically lay the foundations for what would become known as "Trip Hop" forever, there were several more stunning 12"'s & EP releases leading up to the release of his debut album including a version of most famous track "Midnight In A Perfect World". During the time period being covered with this post there would also be a lot of collaborations with the Solesides label & artist collective who later became Quannum projects whose more well known exponents are Blackalicious, Latyrx & Gift Of the Gab.
DJ Shadow has a long and interesting history with hip hop & beat making and I know I've said this before there are many better more thoroughly researched articles online that you can read as well as http://djshadow.com/ which has vast archives and detailed discographies of his work as a producer and DJ as even though he has released only 4 albums of his own work he is not called DJ Shadow for nothing and he also has a long and lucrative career as a DJ and Beat Mixer with in excess of 20 DJ Mixes and collaborative efforts with other DJ's (Most predominantly Cut Chemist) released I could be here all day so I'm gonna check myself before i get into a history of beat based hip hop here as I feel woefully qualified to do such a thing! SO let's breakdown what there is here for you....
OK so not all of these links could be what you would consider "rare" as such however I have sourced the majority of this stuff from my own collection at the best quality available and in some cases I have bought whole albums just to get the Shadow produced track on there! So let's begin....
Your first Link is "Early Singles" the majority of these saw release on the Mo Wax label then were later compiled on the compilation "Pre-Emptive Strike" however a few did not appear on this compilation so this file contains all of his early singles taken from their original CDEP format and not the compilation CD so included in here are "In/Flux/Hindsight" EP , "Lost And Found (S.F.L.)" ( DJ Shadows side of a split 12"/CD with DJ Krush on Mo Wax) The "What Does Your Soul look Like" EP which is a 4 part 32 minute epic beats masterclass, The DJ Shadow side of his "Excursions" 12" on Mo Wax (Split with Chief Xcel) and the "High Noon" EP (with It's intro and Bonus Beats that were NOT featured on the "Pre-Emptive comp) I also mistakenly Put his debut release "Real Deal (Shadow Mix)/Lesson 4" in this pack which also appear on the B-sides and Remixes collection Which i shall get to in a moment
Next up we have the deluxe edition of his Debut album "Endtroducing" which is bolstered by a bonus disc of demo's and B-sides entitled "Excessive Ephemera" which also contains DJ Shadow's full debut live appearance in Oxford UK from 1997 closing out the bonus disc. I do not have the words to describe the fantastic piece of work that is "Endtroducing" Shadow manages to convey more emotion with a sampler and decks than most musicians can with a full band and a string quartet, it is a masterpiece and anything i would say would only detract from it's impact if you have never heard Shadow before then I suggest this is where you start. The bonus disc is an interesting glimpse into the process of the albums "becoming" however it is far from essential I put it in here for the curious or those not wanting to fork out an excessive amount of cash for the deluxe edition of the album! (Tho I have had a look you can apparently pick up a used copy of this deluxe edition for as little as £3 on amazon.co.uk I paid a LOT more for it!)
OK so none of the above are strictly speaking hard to find I'm sure there are plenty of places you could find these if you really tried but I have at least put them all together in one place ripped from their original formats at the highest quality possible however your final link this is the icing on the cake for the DJ Shadow fan... So I mentioned above that I am nuts for the early era of Shadow and being the obsessive I am I made it my mission over the course of maybe a year to gather on CD where possible and from MP3 and various other sources to gather Most if not all of Shadows B-sides and Productions from the beginning up to around 2000 and ALL of his released Remixes and this is what I have done here and what you will find in the B-sides & Remixes file I have Broken it down into 3 Parts but all 3 parts are inside the one folder making it a whopping 525 MB pack however this should take less than 20 mins to download from any reasonable internet connection!So I am now going to give you a tracklist for each part and maybe talk a bit about any tracks that you need to know anything about so here goes.....
Part 1 (Early Works)
1:The Wreckoning (Instrumental)
2:Entropy (Includes_ Intropy; The Third Decade, Our Move; Count & Estimate (With The Gift Of Gab); Back-To-Back Breaks; DJ Shadow's Theme; Endtropy)
4:Count And Estimate (Gab Dub)
5:Hardcore (Instrumental) Hip Hop
6:DJ Shadow's Beat
7:Swan Lake (Instrumental)
8:Lady Don't Tek No (Instrumental)
9:Duality (Pt.. 2)
11:Midnight in a Perfect World (Extended Vision)
12:Stem [Cops 'N' Robbers Mix]
14:Red Bus Needs to Leave!
1 - 8 : (Various DJ Shadow Tracks & Instrumental versions of Tracks for rap artists he did for for Solesides records I have not credited the original rapper/artist for each track because without the Rap these are 100% DJ Shadow instrumental tracks)
9 "Duality" is a 2 part song by DJ Krush from his "Meiso" album DJ Krush has the first Part which I removed and here is DJ Shadow's part only (Hence why I have Called it Duality Pt. 2) this is prob my fave Shadow tune
10 : From a split 12" with DJ Krush entitled "A Whim" Shadow does his megamix thing!)
11 - 14 : B-sides from "Endtroducing" Era Singles "Stem" & "Midnight In A Perfect World" some of these are repeats from the "Excessive Ephemera" Collection that comes as the Bonus Disc with "Endtroducing" above sorry!!)
Part 2 (Works 1998 - 2005)
1:UNKLE (Main Title Theme)
2:Guns Blazing (Drums Of Death Pt. 1) (Instrumental)
3:Rabbit In Your Headlights (Instrumental)
4:Nursery Rhyme (Instrumental)
6:Storm Warning (Instrumental)
7:Divine Intervention (Instrumental)
8:Dark Days (Main Theme)
9:Dark Days (Spoken For Mix)
10:Giving Up The Ghost (Original Version)
11:Untitled Heavy Beat
13:Treach Battle Beat
14:100 Metre Dash
15:March Of Death (Feat. Zack De La Rocha)
16:Grand Ol' Party Crash (Instrumental)
1-5 : In 1998 DJ Shadow teamed up with James Lavelle to make the UNKLE album "Psyence Fiction" DJ Shadow is almost SOLELY credited for all the music so "Psyence Fiction" is in essence a Shadow album. The album had only 2 Instrumental Tracks ("Unreal" however was originally an album instrumental and later released as a single with Ian Brown Singing on it and was re-titled "Be There") the rest of the tracks on "Psyence Fiction" were DJ Shadows music with a cast of "All Star" collaborators providing vocals however as well as the 2 instrumental tracks on the album there were some RARE promotional items and singles released which contained instrumental versions of the vocal album tracks so my reasoning being if you take away the vocals you are left with a Shadow Instrumental track so these 5 tracks are strictly speaking UNKLE tracks but in my opinion with no contribution from anyone else they are in fact DJ Shadow tracks)
6 & 7 : Instrumental versions of Vocal tracks from Shadow's time with Quannum projects hip hop label/artist collective as above these are tracks that were produced by Shadow for an artist to rap over however in my opinion they work better as instrumentals)
8 & 9 in 2000 Shadow provided some re-edited music from his "Endtroducing" album and a brand new track for the soundtrack to the documentary "Dark Days" (A film about homeless people who live in the subway tunnels under New York I suggest you find a copy to watch it is also on Netflix it's a harrowing & Moving documentary) the 2 versions of the theme were released as a VERY limited 2 track 7" & CD Single these are both tracks from the CD single
10 - 14 : B-sides and Album Bonus tracks from the Various singles from and versions of "The Private Press" his 2nd Album)
15 : DJ Shadow & Zach De La Rocha (Of Rage Against The Machine) were supposed to team up for a full album together, this collaboration never materialized and only 1 song was completed and released as an MP3 this is it!)
16 : Instrumental version of a track by rap artist Cage for which DJ Shadow provided the music again it's a case of without the Rap it's a Shadow Instrumental)
Part 3 - Remixes
1:Lifers Group : Real Deal (Shadow Remix)
2:Zimbabwe Legit : Doin' Damage In My Native Language (Shadow's Legitimate Mix)
3:DJ Krush : Meiso (Instrumental Mix - DJ Shadow)
4:DJ Krush : Meiso (Klub Mix - DJ Shadow)
5:Dr Octagon : Waiting List (DJ Shadow & The Automator Remix)
6:Depeche Mode : Painkiller (Kill The Pain Mix)
7:DJ Shadow : Midnight in a Perfect World (Gab Mix)
8:DJ Shadow : The Number Song (Cut Chemist Party Mix)
9:DJ Shadow : Six Days (DJ Shadow Remix Feat. Mos Def)
10:DJ Shadow : GDMFSOB (UNKLE Uncensored Mix Feat. Roots Manuva)
11:Keane : We Might As Well Be Strangers (DJ Shadow Remix Instrumental)
12:Keane : We Might As Well Be Strangers (DJ Shadow Remix)
13:Radiohead : The Gloaming (DJ Shadow Remix)
14:Flobots : Handlebars (DJ Shadow Remix)
15:Klaus Badelt : Apocalypse Here And Now (DJ Shadow Remix)
16:Klaus Badelt : MotorStorm Apocalypse (DJ Shadow Remix)
17:Beastie Boys : Here's A Little Somethin For Ya (DJ Shadow Wet Remix)
18:Beastie Boys : Here's A Little Somethin For Ya (DJ Shadow Dry Remix)
19:Machinedreum : Eyesdontlie (DJ Shadow Remix)
20:Hybrid : Power Curve (DJ Shadow x Bleep-Bloop Remix)
21:Supersister : Dona Nobis Pacem (DJ Shadow Remix)
22:DJ Fresh : Closer (DJ Fresh Vs DJ Shadow)
Self explanatory! A collection of artists whose tracks were remixed by DJ Shadow from 1991 - 2014 not exactly a prolific remixer this set is an almost complete collection there may be a couple missing that were only on vinyl DJ promos and impossible to source without a lot of money and a record player. However In my opinion the remixes get weaker around track 11 whereas tracks 1 - 10 are PURE DJ Shadow and very indicative of his style (So Much so that some of these have seen re-release under his own name with the artist being credited as a secondary for example the Depeche Mode remix) with his early work he left little of the original track and put his stamp all over it the later remixes don't seem to follow that same pattern I have included them all here because as I said he hasn't done a great deal of remix work so you might as well have all of them and some of them they were REALLY hard to track down!
So there you go A fairly worthy collection of the (mostly) early works of one of the best beatmakers and most forward thinking artists in hip hop culture his style has been copied and influenced a whole generation of artists from instrumental beatmakers to hip hop artists and producers, In many cases some music does not date well but if you ever watch television (At least in the UK that is) you can still hear excerpts of "Midnight in A Perfect World" & " Stem/Long Stem" being used as incidental music for many "dramatic" promos for TV Programs and advertisements some 20 years after the albums release this is in itself a testament to the timeless nature of this work! I once read a quote somewhere however my memory is hazy whether it was Shadow himself or someone writing about him that said "You are either a fan of DJ Shadow or just a fan of "Endtroducing " I must admit that whilst I have followed Shadow's career since 1996 I think I mainly fall into the "Endtroducing" fan category that is the trouble with making such an important,groundbreaking and futureproof album...where do you go from there? You have to change and progress and whilst his 2nd album "The Private Press" is also a fantastic album, for me, the era covered here in this post will always be the one that means the most and effects me the most profoundly!
So I hope you enjoy this collection and it's not too far removed from the ethos of this blog (However I did get a LOT of positive feedback on the post i did on Portishead (See That HERE ) so here's hoping) and that my explanations about productions and instrumentals and versions didn't get too confusing? I am an utter fanatic for Shadow's work I have many more rarities and releases that fall outside this era so for those of you who are fans feel free to request more if you would like I can easily expand this post or do another! In the meantime download these kick back and enjoy some great music.CHEERS!
Early Singles - Mediafire
Endtroducing (Deluxe Edition) - Mediafire
B-Sides & Remixes - Mediafire