Josh Davis, aka DJ Shadow, is an acclaimed DJ and producer with decades of experience. He’s a student of history, fascinated by the music of all generations. And he’s a history maker – his debut was the first ever record to be constructed entirely from samples.
But it’s the present (and uncertain future) that holds DJ Shadow’s attention on his latest LP, Our Pathetic Age. The hint is in the title, and it’s echoed in the cover art: a figure gazing into the abyss of a mobile phone screen.
The mood is set from the opener, Nature Always Wins – blaring foghorn bass cries out from the speakers. It’s followed by Slingblade, a soundtrack of staccato drum hits, sci-fi synths and tense tubular bells. Throughout the album are pensive piano refrains, skittering jazz drums, earth-shaking rock breaks, sub-bass blasts and expertly selected samples from Davis’ record collection. It’s signature Shadow. Carefully layered arrangements, rich in detail, heavy in impact.
The opening suite is instrumental, and the second half features friends and fellow luminaries like Gift of Gab, Lateef The Truth Speaker, Nas, Pusha T, and numerous others, all on top form. Our Pathetic Age is a fascinating, reflective and exhilarating new chapter in the ongoing chronicle of this master at work.
Our Pathetic Age by DJ Shadow is out now via Mass Appeal/Caroline.
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