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DJ Shadow

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Bio

DJ Shadow's Josh Davis is widely credited as a key figure in developing the experimental instrumental hip-hop style associated with the London-based Mo' Wax label. His early singles for the label, including "In/Flux" and "Lost and Found (S.F.L.)," were all-over-the-map mini-masterpieces combining elements of funk, rock, hip-hop, ambient, jazz, soul, and used-bin finds. Although he'd already done a scattering of original and production work (during 1991-1992 for Hollywood Records) by the time Mo' Wax's James Lavelle contacted him about releasing "In/Flux" on the fledgling imprint, it wasn't until his association with Mo' Wax that his sound began to mature and cohere. Davis went on to co-write, remix, and produce tracks for labelmates DJ Krush and Dr. Octagon plus the Mo' Wax trip-hop supergroup UNKLE. After the label's demise, Shadow launched his own Liquid Amber imprint and worked with artists as diverse as Nils Frahm and Run the Jewels. Davis grew up in Hayward, California, a predominantly lower middle-class suburb of San Francisco. An odd, white suburban hip-hop fan in the hard rock-dominated early '80s, Davis gravitated toward the turntable/mixer setup of the hip-hop DJ over the guitars, bass, and drums of his peers. He worked his way through hip-hop's early years into the heyday of crews like Eric B. & Rakim, Ultramagnetic MC's, and Public Enemy, groups that prominently featured DJs in their ranks. Davis had already been fiddling around with making beats and breaks on a four-track while he was in high school, but it was his move to the Northern California town of Davis to attend university that led to the establishment of his own Solesides label as an outlet for his original tracks. Hooking up with Davis' few b-boys (including eventual Solesides artists Blackalicious and Lyrics Born) through the college radio station, Shadow began releasing the Reconstructed from the Ground Up mixtapes in 1991 and pressed his 17-minute hip-hop symphony "Entropy" in 1993. His tracks spread widely through the DJ-strong hip-hop underground, eventually catching the attention of Mo' Wax. Shadow's first full-length, Endtroducing..., was released in late 1996 to immense critical acclaim in Britain and America. Preemptive Strike, a compilation of early singles, followed in early 1998. Later that year, Shadow produced tracks for the debut album by UNKLE, a longtime Mo' Wax production team that gained superstar guests including Thom Yorke (of Radiohead), Richard Ashcroft (of the Verve), Mike D (of the Beastie Boys), and others. His next project came in 1999, with the transformation of Solesides into a new label, Quannum Projects. Nearly six years after his debut production album, the proper follow-up, The Private Press, was released in June 2002. The following year Shadow released a mix album, Diminishing Returns, and in 2004 he released a live album and DVD, Live! In Tune and on Time. In 2006, his long-awaited third solo album, The Outsider, came out, but instead of following the blueprint he'd used on his past two records, Shadow enlisted help from Bay Area rappers like Keak da Sneak, E-40, and Lateef, as well as David Banner and Q-Tip. He toured frequently during the next few years, but released no material until 2010, when the single "Def Surrounds Us" teased a new album. Issues around rights clearance delayed the release during 2011, but The Less You Know, the Better finally appeared in the fall, heralding a return to his sample-based hip-hop. A year later, Reconstructed: The Best of DJ Shadow rounded up his greatest hits, while Total Breakdown: Hidden Transmissions from the MPC Era 1992-1996 compiled his early productions, with its title referencing his studio tool of choice at the time, the Akai MPC. He launched his new Liquid Amber label in 2014 with the Liquid Amber EP, then issued the Nite Skool Klik EP in 2015, the latter a self-titled debut from his project with producer G Jones. The Mass Appeal label picked up his 2016 solo release, The Mountain Will Fall, an album that featured guests Nils Frahm and Run the Jewels. ~ Sean Cooper
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Albums by
DJ Shadow

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    12 songs

    On Air

    Mountain Will Fall [LP]

    1 song

    On Air

    Bergschrund (feat. Nils Frahm)

    1 song

    On Air

    Nobody Speak (feat. Run the Jewels)

    1 song

    On Air

    The Mountain Will Fall

    16 songs

    On Air

    The Less You Know, The Better

    18 songs

    On Air

    The Outsider

    18 songs

    On Air

    The Outsider [Clean US Version]

    27 songs

    On Air

    Endtroducing... [Deluxe Edition]

    14 songs

    On Air

    The Private Press

    14 songs

    On Air

    The Private Press

    16 songs

    On Air

    The Private Press [Special Package]

    5 songs

    On Air

    Six Days

    3 songs

    On Air

    The Liquid Amber EP

    6 songs

    On Air

    I Gotta Rokk

    7 songs

    On Air

    Scale It Back

    16 songs

    On Air

    Endtroducing.....

    2 songs

    On Air

    Def Surrounds Us/I've Been Trying

    3 songs

    On Air

    You Can't Go Home Again

    16 songs

    On Air

    Reconstructed: The Best of DJ Shadow

    25 songs

    On Air

    Reconstructed: The Best of DJ Shadow

    11 songs

    On Air

    Preemptive Strike

    21 songs

    On Air

    Live! In Tune and on Time

    26 songs

    On Air

    Brainfreeze Breaks

    3 songs

    On Air

    Endtroducing... [20th Anniversary Edition]

See All Albums

Top Songs by
DJ Shadow

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   Midnight in a Perfect World
  3.   Six Days
  4.   Building Steam With a Grain of Salt
  5.   Organ Donor
  6.   Scale It Back
  7.   You Made It
  8.   Giving Up the Ghost
  9.   Stem/Long Stem
  10.   What Does Your Soul Look Like, Pt. 4
  11.   I've Been Trying
  12.   Fixed Income
  13.   What Does Your Soul Look Like, Pt. 1
  14.   Walkie Talkie
  15.   Triplicate/Something Happened That Day
  16.   The Tiger
  17.   Changeling/Transmission 1
  18.   What Have I Done
  19.   ...Meets His Maker
  20.   You Can't Go Home Again
  21.   This Time (I'm Gonna Try It My Way)
  22.   Backstage Girl
  23.   Redeemed
  24.   Blood on the Motorway
  25.   Nobody Speak by Run the Jewels
  26. See All Songs

Stations & Shows Featuring
DJ Shadow

    On Air

    EDM A-Z

    On Air

    Electronic

    On Air

    '90s Electronic

    On Air

    Metropolitan Mood

    On Air

    Daft Punk: DNA

    On Air

    Alternative Chill

    On Air

    Coffee House

    On Air

    Chill

    On Air

    Hotel Poolside

    On Air

    Radiohead: DNA

    On Air

    Indie 500

    On Air

    Marketplace Music

    On Air

    The Current


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