DJ ShadowPrivate Press (MCA/Quannum)
Waking from a restless dream, even after the longest sleep, one finds himself distraught, tired, and most of all, puzzled. Although your movement might have been limited to a 1-or-2-inch roll, your restless mind has been engulfed in a state of thought never confronted in everyday reality. To this area of the obscure is where Josh Davis, aka DJ Shadow, hopes to take us. On Private Press
, Shadow, a pioneer in vinyl preservation, allows the wax-engraved samples to lead him through an intentionally loose-strung concept of hip-hop and psychedelia, which at times loses focus. The LP's 14 tracks break down into three sections that diverge and wake into reality, then spin off into the endorphin-induced unknown of composed collages. Despite the raw rhythm of the first few tracks, notably "Fixed Income" and "Walkie Talkie," Press
plateaus into a nebulous void filled with minimal drum beats and colloquial samples, e.g. "Pure Energy." Just as your thoughts drift and morale drops, Shadow, in the same fashion as his breakout Endtroducing
, regains momentum on the skit-like "Mashin' on the Motorway." Saving the best for last, "You Can't Go Home Again," a seven-minute piece saturated in emotion, is the grand culmination of the sampled sentiments scattered throughout the pages of the Press
. Like dying, then waking to face another day, only fuzzy recollections are left in the back of the mind.