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4.7 out of 5 stars 263 customer reviews

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Vinyl, December 10, 1996
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Editorial Reviews

Endtroducing... is the debut studio album of American music producer DJ Shadow, released on November 19, 1996 on the record label Mo' Wax. The album is renowned for being composed almost entirely of sampled content, most of which originated from various vinyl records obtained by DJ Shadow during trips to record shops. Endtroducing... was produced by Shadow in the span of two years using minimal equipment, most notably the Akai MPC60 sampler. In creating the album's overall atmosphere, he strived to capture the downbeat nature of his previous releases for the Mo' Wax label. The album's content features both moody, slow-paced tracks and upbeat jams reminiscent of DJ Shadow's early hip hop influences. Endtroducing... received universal acclaim from critics, who praised DJ Shadow's approach to sampling and the beats he created from samples. It ranked highly on various year-end lists of the best albums of 1996. The album is considered to be a landmark work in the instrumental hip hop movement, with DJ Shadow's innovative sampling techniques and arrangements influencing other producers to create similar sample-based works. Endtroducing... has since appeared in several publications' lists of the decade's greatest albums

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Best Foot Forward
  2. Building Steam with a Grain of Salt
  3. The Number Song
  4. Changeling/Transmission 1
  5. What Does Your Soul Look Like, Pt. 4
  6. Stem/Long Stem/Transmission 2
  7. Mutual Slump
  8. Organ Donor
  9. Why Hip Hop Sucks in '96
  10. Midnight in a Perfect World
  11. Napalm Brain/Scatter Brain
  12. What Does Your Soul Look Like, Pt. 1: Blue Sky Revisit

Product Details

  • Vinyl (December 10, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Island
  • ASIN: B000005DQQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (263 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,662 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
In 1998 I had a crush on a girl named Ellie. On a rainy day we decided on an awkward quasi-date to Rasputin's Records and Blondie's Pizza. I sat down in the passenger seat of her beat-up Accord, she started the engine, and her tape player introduced me to a twinkling piano and hypnotizingly slow breakbeats. The notes fell like raindrops on her windshield, and forever in my mind, that moment, Ellie's perfume, my nervous tension, and DJ Shadow's "Building Steam With A Grain of Salt" were locked inseparably together. Whenever the rain starts to fall -- not a hard rain and not a sprinkle, but a steady, plodding, relentless patter of water on earth -- I think of this song.
Josh Davis, also known as DJ Shadow, makes that kind of impact with the arcane record samples he artfully merges into cohesive, thoughtful, revelatory aural collages. He is obsessed. He digs up sounds you and I have never heard before, and maybe a thing or two we have heard before, and fuses them into some brilliant new heterogeneous dream with the power to stir the subconscious and induce sheer awe.
Once I bought his CD and broke free of the hold that "Building..." had on me, I got accustomed to the other twelve tracks of the album. There were many pleasant surprises. I found "Midnight in a Perfect World" just as addicting as the song that got me hooked in the first place, a loping, seductive, scratch-heavy, impossibly beautiful five minutes and two seconds. "Changeling" was another fast favorite, like a lush sunset after a long summer day. "Stem/Long Stem" creeped me out with pernicious string samples surrounding a single lonely chime.
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Format: Audio CD
This record has been immortalized in the past few years as the crate-diggers and backpackers bible. Every single year, with another list marking the best of the past 10 years, 50 years, and maybe even millenium, Endtroducing has become a musical canon. Whether this allegation is factually true, it has become a canon for an entire generation of people who bought turntables instead of guitars. And rightly so: This disc is THE essential record for sound collages. The rampant sampling of the eighties reached the nineties with such cynicism that with the release of this record changed an entire generation's idea of what a song is supposed to be like. For the youth of today, the music they listen to is inevitably tinged with the influences of this record. DJ Shadow had taken sampling to a point where only keyboards could replicate the intricacy in which he used records.

That being said, Endtroducing stands the test of time, firmly implanting itself in popular cultures lexicon of important records. Endtroducing has far exceeded even the largest expectations: perfect production and album arrangement greeted by overwhelmingly positive reviews and an ever-growing fan base. Some people consider the record an emotional masterpiece, others an aural marthon, and some even think of it as turntablism at its finest. Quite frankly, it is truly the first musically post-modern piece of music in the recording art industry. While certainly neither the first to sample nor investing in a large amount of samples, the direction, focus, and articulation of a generation can be surmised within the record. It is the death and rebirth of the recording industry all at once.
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By A Customer on April 25, 1999
Format: Audio CD
"Entroducing..." is perhaps one of the most amazing albums in the world of music. While an album that is built entirely off of samples may have some think of Puff Daddy's theft of '80's songs, Shadow is far from the sampling of Puff Daddy. Shadow loops interesting samples from forgotten and obscure songs. He layers samples from different records and uses odd effects to create strange soundscapes. If you give this album a listen, you will be hooked. Check out "The Numbers Song" (a Metallica guitar loop mixed with soul and hip-hop records? Where else have you heard that?), "Napalm Brain/Scatter Brain", and "Midnight In A Perfect World". For more Shadow, check out Preemptive Strike which features his first masterpiece "In/Flux" and the entire "What Does Your Soul Look Like" EP. Pick this up and prepare to be amazed.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
From the opening sample of "Building Steam With a Grain of Salt" where a voice is heard saying "Producing..." you know you are listening to an outstanding piece of work. In order to better understand this, you have to position yourself at the time this album came out.
You have to realize Trip Hop was already in full fledge: Massive Attack and Portishead had already come out with their own thing, but DJ Shadow came with a different proposal in 1996 when he produced 'Endtroducing...'. Through the magic of samples, he blended in a way many have tried to copy, yet no one yet matched, genres such as rock, soul, funk, ambient, and jazz, into a final product that transcends time. If you need further proof of that, think how long it's been since this album came out (1996) as you are reading this, sit back, listen to it and be amazed, as so many have been amazed to this day.
After listening to 'Endtroducing...' almost daily for three weeks now, turning back and thinking of acts such as Fatboy Slim almost feels awkward, considering his sample-based 'Better Living Through Chemistry' came out almost a full year after Shadow's debut. Granted that everyone has a place in music, DJ Shadow's genius with sampling work simply is above and beyond, making this not only his breakthrough, but also one of the best albums ever.
Other favorite tracks: "Changeling", "Untitled" and the grandieuse "Mutual Slump". If you want to take a dip into an evolved form of his work, check out his side project, U.N.K.L.E., in particular 'Psyence Fiction'.
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