Saturday, December 8, 2007

Dj Shadow - 2003 - Diminishing Returns

The incredibly welcome release of a mix originally done for the BBC in March 2003, the two-disc DJ Shadow set Diminishing Returns allows fans (or those lucky enough to find one of the thousand-copy official run) a listen in to Josh Davis' country-wide vinyl-scavenging expeditions of the past ten years. The king of all beat-diggers, Davis reportedly owns the largest collection of rap vinyl on the planet, most of it gleaned from the rotting basements of urban record stores (just check out the =Scratch DVD to get some flavor). The first disc alone is a gold mine for hip-hop fans, featuring 80 minutes of quick-cut tracks (most of them obscure) along Shadow's interests: early West Coast hardcore, along with plenty of straight-ahead Golden Age hip-hop. The second disc, a 40-minute mix, is similar to Brainfreeze and Product Placement, his collaborations with Cut Chemist, although rather than deep funk it's an eclectic selection of obscure psychedelic rock. An unreleased Shadow production, "War Is Hell," is tacked onto the end." (John Bush, All Music Guide).