DJ Shadow

The Mountain Will Fall

Mass Appeal

3/5 stars

 

It’s almost two decades since Josh Davis stepped into the spotlight with his stunning debut album, Endtroducing. Composed almost entirely of samples from the American producer and DJ’s extensive record collection (a vinyl library so vast that if you laid each record one on top of the other, you’d probably make a pile that reached the moon … or maybe not, but it is an exceptionally large collection), Endtroducing was a landmark album of such masterful beatmaking, it’s hardly surprising DJ Shadow has been unable to burn so brightly since.

 

 

For his fifth studio album, the follow-up to 2011’s The Less You Know , the Better, Shadow has favoured live instrumentation and original beat production to complement the creative sampling, rather than the total steal, stitch and manipulate approach. Other than on the funky upbeat collaboration with Run the Jewels (Nobody Speak), the grooves across the mostly instrumental 12 tracks are hauntingly atmospheric, especially on the menacing Depth Charge and Ashes to Oceans, which features gorgeous trumpet work from British jazz composer Matthew Halsall.