Midnight in a Perfect World - DJ Shadow's 'Entroducing'

It’s midnight. I’m walking home, I see nothing but dark buildings and orange streetlights. Traffic goes by nearby, I can hear the wind in the trees. Somewhere below, in a nearby garden, a fox rests. With my headphones on, there is a peace to the city. We all have albums that form us. A track list that takes you back to a specific time, place or emotion. For most of us, a few specific albums become the soundtracks to our lives, melodies and lyrics that move past the mind and engrave themselves unto us. For better or worse, we carry these songs on our backs, in our hearts. For me, DJ Shadow's 1996 classic Entroducing is just that.

Mo' Wax Records, Entroducing by DJ Shadow, 1996, Cover by Brian Cross

Describing Entroducing by any means will sound pretentious and sycophantic. I’ve heard that you should never meet your heroes, and reviewers shouldn’t review their favourites. Hopefully, this isn’t true. I just want to share how much I love this album, and how much it means to me.

Comprised nearly entirely of vinyl samples collected by the West Coast musician, Entroducing was, and is, a genesis of instrumental hip hop, trip hop, and sampling in general. Fusing hip hop, jazz, British rock and even Bjork, Shadow creates a pastiche work, a collage of conflicting sounds that exist in conflict with one another. For me, the album works particularly well, as Shadow becomes a unifier of such contrasting genres, fusing them together to create something greater than its specific parts. A republic of sounds. Song