In 1996, Josh Davis, aka DJ Shadow released an LP made up entirely of samples titled “Endtroducing…” and made huge steps in changing the perception of what music was made of, how it was made and the perception of live performance. The album is a dark, moody journey soaked in hip-hop.
It’s one of the rare complete, cohesive works without a second of extraneous audio, errant beat or superfluous showmanship. There’s nothing out of place and there’s no throwaway song. It also stands the test of time, still sounding fresh seventeen years later, no small feat for an album that so heavily relies on technology.
He’s produced a lot of legitimate work since then, with standout songs like “Scale it Back,” “Walkie Talkie,” and his work with James Lavelle in U.N.K.L.E., but none as amazing or perfected as “Endtroducing.” It’s difficult to think about where musicians like Girl Talk and Pretty Lights would be today if it weren’t for DJ Shadow.
This Sunday, get creative with your leftovers, work with what you’ve got, focus on what you have. Or D: All of the above.