‘I Accidentally Invented Trip-Hop’: How We Made DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing | Culture

By 1991, sampling had entered a golden age with De La Soul’s 3 Feet High and Rising, NWA’s Straight Outta Compton, and the Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique. He was a senior in high school, frustrated that he couldn’t afford turntables, let alone a sample. He was doing poor sampling by feeding records directly into my four-track cassette recorder, trying to fool the industry that he was more equipped.

I pooled all my money, went to the Guitar Center in San Francisco and bought the Akai MPC60. When someone buys an instrument, they always say they go home and stay up for two and a half days, just playing. That is exactly what I did. You could only sample 2.5 seconds of stereo and store 13 seconds, so I would do the rhythm, the melody, the percussion and go to the studio of Dan the Automator, a producer who had an early form of multi-tracking using VHS tapes. For the seven-inch mix Stem, I wanted to try Heat, the 1995 movie, so I said, “Make sure you have a VCR. I’m going to rent the movie.

I wanted people to understand that sampling has a long lineage, which is why the credits are right there in the liner notes. James Lavelle of Mo’Wax said, “Give us a list of the big eight.” So I identified the samples most likely to cause problems, such as Metallica, Björk, and the piano in Midnight in a perfect world which comes from the 1969 song The Human Abstract by David Axelrod. A few weeks later I said, “Do you want some more?” and he said, “We still have our hands full, thank you.”

I spent the summer of 1996 in the UK promoting the album. As a 23-year-old, he seemed like such an optimistic aura. The album did not take off in the United States until a year later. I would jump on the phone to do an interview and be met with confused silence: people assumed I was British.

I know some fans think I don’t like to talk about Endtroducing, like it’s some kind of drag, but that’s not true. There has also been a narrative that James and I don’t get along. There has There has been some truth to that, but I would anything for James, and I’m sure he feels the same way.

James Lavalle, Month‘Founder of the wax label

I was 17 years old and working at Honest Jon’s on Portobello Road, London. He specialized in collectible black soul, funk, R&B, jazz, and reggae. Following my suggestion, he started stockpiling the records of the scene he played in (acid jazz, American hip-hop, Massive Attack and London new soul) and became a hub.

He was DJing in New York and Los Angeles and scouring US record companies picking up unreleased hip-hop promos on vinyl. Doin’ Damage in My Native Language, by Zimbabwean African hip-hop act Zimbabwe Legit, wasn’t very good. But on the B-side was this new mix from this DJ he hadn’t heard of before: dj shadow – called Shadow’s Legitimate Mix, full of scratching and samples. It was beautiful and unusual, although it had little to do with the original, and I started playing it in my DJ sets. I accidentally invented trip-hop: mixing unusual hip-hop instruments with other electronic records to create a soundscape.

I got a friend from Tommy Boy Records to introduce me to Shadow. We talked for hours on the phone about British hip-hop and the NME. He was 19 years old and had grown up in Oxford; he was 21 years old and had been raised in Davis, California. We both felt like we came from the suburbs, outside of the major cities. I said, “Would you be interested in doing a record for Mo’Wax, my label? Don’t worry about the choruses and verses, just take your sound beyond that world.”

The album took a year and a half to make. We hung out in San Francisco and London. The samples They were pretty easy to clean. It’s different when you’re sampling a 1970’s Swedish drum beat than it is sampling James Brown or the Rolling Stones. People said, “No one is going to listen to instrumental hip-hop.” But I was thinking of huge soundscapes, like those of Pink Floyd or Beethoven.

Cool Britannia were primarily guitar bands, but by 1996 Portishead, Massive Attack, the Chemical Brothers and Underworld had become mainstream. The introductory hit was a moment and it was NME’s fifth album of the year. It still has a timeless quality and an innocence of being crafted without relying on technology. He was trying to change the world, but in a very low-key and subtle way.

The Endtroducing 25th Anniversary Remaster is out now.

Source link

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: