What resonated about Endtroducing when it was released in 1996, and what makes it still resonate today, is the way in which it loosens itself from the mooring of the known and sails off into an uncharted territory that seems to exist both in and out of time. Josh Davis is not only a master sampler and turntablist supreme, he is also a serious archeologist with a world-thirsty passion (what Cut Chemist refers to as Josh's "spidey sense") for seeking out, uncovering and then ripping apart the discarded graces of some other generation - that "pile of broken dreams" - and weaving them back together into a tapestry of chronic bleakness and beauty.
Over the course of several long conversations with Josh Davis (DJ Shadow), we learn about his early years in California, the friends and mentors who helped him along the way, his relationship with Mo'Wax and James Lavelle, and the genesis and creation of his widely acknowledged masterpiece, Endtroducing.
Excellent series of Interviews
By Thaddeus - August 16, 2007
This book is essentially a long interview by Wilder with Josh Davis, and if you've seen Scratch, you know that Shadow can be very articulate. In essence, Wilder guides the story and gives it context, but is basically letting Shadow speak for himself. They go the whole nine yards: delving into Davis' childhood, how he discovered hiphop, how he started making his first mixes and tracks, who he met and when, and how he made the album in question. The focus is one Endtroducing... but you get the arc of his whole career up to Private Press. A very worthwhile read, in my opinion.
I supplemented my reading with the liner notes from the deluxe edition of Endtroducing... and also listened to the album and Preemptive Strike and all the b-sides. It's a fast read, you could finish in one sitting. Sold!
Cool, but should have been so much better
By Steward Willons - December 30, 2012
This is the 5th 33 1/3 book that I've read and it ranks somewhere in the middle in terms of overall quality. The DJ Shadow volume is fairly short at just under 100 pages of actual prose. Really, Josh Davis should be listed as the author with Eliot Wilder credited as editor. 90% of the content is derived from interviews Wilder conducted with Davis. It's cool to hear DJ Shadow talk about his childhood, but I don't think Wilder has earned his credit as an author. He contributes virtually nothing to the book.
The book isn't really a book about "Endtroducing..." - it's about DJ Shadow's development from a preteen who loved listening to his parents records to precocious teen who make crude mix tapes using a consumer grade hifi that he saved his allowance for, all the way up to his first album. It's really more of an autobiography than anything else. The split between bio and discussions of "Endtroducing..." is about 70/30.
If you're looking for a detailed analysis of... read more
An extended liner notes for one of the greatest albums ever created
By J. Book "music's biggest fan" - December 22, 2008
Endtroducing... by DJ Shadow is one of the best albums of the 20th century, period. A lot of words have been said about it, but it was Eliot Wilder who, through a combinations of interviews with the artist, was able to get a closer look and listen to an album that is still an intense experience from start to finish.
It feels like having an extended set of liner notes with you, as Shadow reveals facts about his childhood, his eventual obsession of all that is vinyl, and what moved him to turn that love of rap music into something he could add into the mix. He talks about his experiences with his early work, all of which contributed to what would become "the album". As with many artists, he does keep himself slightly guarded but Wilder is able to have Shadow reveal things about the album that even the most diehard fans might not have known.
Had I written the book, I would've went in deeper,... read more