For those of you have been keeping track of the innovative Californian DJ Shadow over the years, then you’re surely quite familiar with his frustratingly sparse and polarized output. His two most recent albums, 2011′s “The Less You Know, The Better,” and 2006′s “The Outsider,” found the DJ messing around with sounds he seemed to have no control over. While his meandering work on his most recent album produced mixed results, “The Outsider”‘s flirtations with Bay Area hyphy were downright abysmal.
For those who may be getting tired of Shadow’s latter day mishaps, this new collection may perk up your spirits a bit. “Total Breakdown: Hidden Transmissions From The MPC Era, 1992-1996″ compiles a hearty assortment of previously unreleased tracks Shadow made before his full length debut “Endtroducing…” dropped in the fall of 1996. Detailing his first experiments with the Akai MPC, it’s set to show the evolution of the young DJ and the new found technology, to which he’d quickly become an expert in.
“As long as the old stuff is given a context and doesn’t overshadow the new, I think it’s a healthy exercise for me, and one that re-calibrates me for whatever new musical path lies ahead” says Shadow. “I think it’s important to revisit where you’ve been occasionally so that you can determine where to go.” Maybe his newer stuff does need further listening (they definitely have their moments) but for now, this look back might be a good palette cleanser.
Download one of the earliest compositions on the collection, “Dreams of a Piece” below. Check out full details of the record over at DJ Shadow’s website.
DJ Shadow — “Dreams of a Piece”