Last Sunday I attended the DJ Shadow show at the Ogden Theatre here in Denver, Colorado. It was a marvelous show.
DJ Shadow is a legendary DJ and turntablist from California. I’ve been a fan for over 10 years. Of course, I love Endtroducing… and Preemptive Strike as well as his contributions to Dr. Octagon, but The Private Press and the most recent album, The Outsiders, didn’t quite grab me in the same way.
Some interesting facts (kindly compiled by wikipedia):
[DJ Shadow] is considered a prominent figure in the development of instrumental hip hop and first gained notice with the release of his highly acclaimed debut album Endtroducing....., which was constructed entirely from samples. He has an exceptionally large personal record collection, with over 60,000 records.
The fact that Endtroducing…was “constructed entirely from samples” is really amazing. The video of Midnight in a Perfect World below, though not my favorite song, shows how various songs and samples come together.
Now, I know that some don’t see this kind of music as “real” music since it basically takes music that already exists and mixes it together. But, to me, it is just the natural evolution of art. Don’t we already see the constant influence of other TV shows on the current ones, similarly with film and all other forms of art. To be truly original after so much that has gone before becomes more and more challenging. DJs just embrace it and create a new type of art.
Back to the show. While some part of me desperately wanted to hear a mix of Endtroducing…and Preemptive Strike music, I was overwhelmingly pleased with what I did hear. I heard a splendid mix of everything, including quite a bit yet-to-be-released material. There were elements of the familiar in style but really fresh in delivery. It was one of those shows where you can feel the music (the music moves through you!).
The visuals deserve some note. This “Shadowsphere” was a large presence in the performance. The Shadowsphere is an orb in which DJ Shadow does his work. It is all white and images were projected on it as well as the screen behind it.
This is a shot from the backside:
These are two photos I grabbed off the interwebs of the front side.
At first I thought it was a little cheesy but it was actually well done.