About DJ Shadow
Joshua Paul Davis , better known by his stage name DJ Shadow, is an American DJ and record producer. His debut studio album, Endtroducing....., was released in 1996.
DJ Shadow was experimenting with a four-track recorder while in high school in Davis, California, and began his music career as a disc jockey for the University of California, Davis, campus radio station KDVS. During this period, he explored the experimental hip-hop style associated with the London-based Mo' Wax record label. His early singles, including "In/Flux" and "Lost and Found ", were genre-bending, merging elements of funk, rock, hip hop, ambient, jazz, soul, and used-bin found records. Andy Pemberton, a music journalist writing for Mixmag, described the single "In/Flux" as "trip hop", a term that had already been attached to Bristol, England-based groups Massive Attack and Portishead and the Bristol scene in general in June 1994. He has cited Kurtis Mantronik, Steinski, and Prince Paul as influences on his sample-based sound, further claiming that "lyrics ... were confining, too specific". His music rarely features more than short clips of voices or vocal work.
During 1991–1992, DJ Shadow remixes were released on Hollywood BASIC, a short-lived rap/hip-hop subsidiary label of Hollywood Records. Notable amongst these is a 1992 compilation release titled "BASIC Beats Sampler", which features a remix of "The Real Deal", a song by Lifers Group, as well as a 12-plus-minute "Mega Mix" of the rest of the album, including tracks by west-coast underground hip-hop act, Raw Fusion and east-coast acts, Organized Konfusion and Zimbabwe Legit. Also in 1992, Shadow contributed scratching and production work to Sleeping with the Enemy, the second release by rapper Paris.
Early in 1993, Shadow was a part of the creation of the Solesides underground hip-hop label, in conjunction with Blackalicious and Lyrics Born . The first 12" release on this new imprint was titled "Entropy", with the A-side containing the Asia Born track "Send Them" and a dub rendition of the DJ Shadow track "Count and Estimate", and the entire B-side consisting of the 17-plus-minute title track. Rapper Gift of Gab is featured in the version of "Count and Estimate" that appears in Entropy. Shadow continued to participate in releases on the Solesides label for years to come, until the label was disbanded in favor of Quannum Projects.
Also in 1993, Mo' Wax's James Lavelle contacted Shadow about releasing "In/Flux" on the fledgling imprint. The association with Mo' Wax was a productive one; his tracks "In/Flux" and "Lost and Found" made their way onto some releases over the next few years. Shadow also worked with DJ Krush during this period. On a 1995 visit to the Mo' Wax Studios in London, England, Shadow was recruited to perform scratches on a Lavelle and Tim Goldsworthy mix of the Massive Attack song "Karmacoma".
Shadow's first full-length work, Endtroducing....., was released in late 1996 to critical acclaim. Endtroducing would go on to make the Guinness World Records book for "First Completely Sampled Album" in 2001. The only pieces of equipment Shadow used to produce the album were the AKAI MPC60 12-bit sampling drum machine, a pair of turntables and a borrowed-by-visiting Pro Tools setup from an early adopter of the technology, Dan "The Automator" Nakamura. In November 2006, Time magazine named it one of its "All-Time" 100 best albums. In November 2014, automobile maker Chevrolet used a sample "Building Steam with a Grain of Salt" in a Chevy commercial.
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