DJ Shadow Week

Throwing Snow, Ninja Tune, and Ghostly talk Shadow's impact on sampling culture

By Ken Taylor

DJ Shadow Week on Beatportal has been a blast. Aside from showcasing Shadow’s new archival project, Total Breakdown: Hidden Transmissions From The MPC Era, 1992-1996, we brought you his five best videos ever, some lost studio footage, an exclusive interview with the man himself, a look back at his monumental Endtroducing… album, and had Shadow talk us through a few of the tracks on the new release. Today we round out the proceedings with a handful of anecdotes from around the electronic music world on the impact DJ Shadow has had on sampling culture.

Ross Tones, Throwing Snow: “Shadow was one of the main reasons I got into electronic music. Endtroducing… showed me the art of sample digging and manipulation, therefore changing my view of what music and creativity is actually all about.”

DJ Shadow – Alright

Sam Valenti IV, Ghostly International/ “DJ Shadow, and the Mo’ Wax aesthetic on a whole, were a huge influence on Ghostly. What they did felt like the logical next step for hip-hop, in that it would be embraced and re-framed by “outsiders,” often international, but with an awareness of the form that kept it rooted in its strengths. The early Shadow EPs and Endtroducing… were not the first releases to be all sample-driven, as is often claimed, but they were a bellwether for the hundreds of thousands of people who bought the record and could understood what sampling culture was all about.

DJ Shadow – Don’t Try It

Matthew Adell, Beatport CEO: 1994. Some friends and I were at this hippie’s place and I remember hearing what sounded like Pink Floyd for a moment. Then the scratching began. “You said to me that I’m out my mind,” and, BOOM, a jaw-dropping loop from U2’s “Sunday Bloody Sunday.” Just a few bars of the opening drums, sliced and recycled into something darker and hypnotizing. “Lost And Found,” DJ Shadow’s second single on the amazingly prolific Mo’ Wax label, blew my mind and forever changed the way I understood sampling.

Jeff Waye, Ninja Tune: “Back in the day, my record collection was heavily informed by what shirts metal and punk bands were wearing in promo shots. Then Shadow came along and started informing my record collection in a whole different (and much more expensive) way. Now if only that Supersister record will put my kids through school…”

DJ Shadow – Mellow But Chunky

Clark Warner, Beatport Executive Creative Director: “Ever since hearing Shadow on the Headz comps on Mo’ Wax, I’ve been a dedicated listener and fan. Some of my more memorable times behind the decks have been playing his jams at the right time, in the right place, and in the right mood. The approach he takes with working and resourcing samples has always reminded me of skateboarding: The core elements of invention, skill, speed, style, fun, risk, and a little bit of crazy are always weaved into his masterpieces. Pure energy.”