CONCERT REVIEW: DJ Shadow

Exhibition Grounds Tel Aviv, July 14

By JONATHAN ADLER
July 17, 2010 22:35
2 minute read.
Tel Aviv at sunset.

tel aviv sunset 311. (photo credit: AP)

‘Does anyone remember who I am?” was the question with which DJ Shadow opened his Wednesday night set at the Tel Aviv . The question, which was sampled, repeated and maneuvered by Shadow, was apparently rhetorical, for DJ Shadow, the creator of Endtroducing, the first instrumental album created only with samples, is unforgettable.

Shadow filled the Israeli crowd with excitement with his rhythmic instrumental works. Some were made as mash-ups of his original works taken from all three of his albums, which were wrapped with heavy beats, filled with even more samples and fluently mixed together.

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The audience enjoyed some of Shadows famous tracks, among them “Building Steam with a Grain of Salt,” “Blood on the Motorway,” “Six Days” and “This Time (I’m Gonna Try it My Way).” The highlight was his famous live version of the hypnotizing track “Organ Donor.”

In addition, Shadow introduced a few new tracks from his upcoming album, which according to him, will be out next year. From body-shaking drum and bass to soothing electronic music, and from funky melodies to reminiscing hip hop beats, Shadow supplied a range of beats and rhythms, satisfying most of the audience’s expectations.

But he also managed to surprise the crowd with some newer styles that diverged from the instrumental hip hop style he’s best known for.

However, those who came to see Shadow working his skills on his set of two turntables and mixer were disappointed – Shadow had replaced his turntables with CD players. It’s well known to Shadow’s fans that vinyl records are essential to his music and to hip hop in general.

Part of the charm of albums was the in effort to find the right record and the right sample and to glue all the samples together and create a homogeneous masterpiece.

Like Jackson Pollock’s action painting, the technique itself takes part in the art.

For some, it might not have made a difference, but for those admiring this art it may have left a small cavity.

Nevertheless, Shadow provided his fans with a very professional performance, showing his great ability to mix and control the sound, even if he has adopted a slightly different approach to performing.

For the warming act, the audience was treated to a local delight. Kutiman Orchestra Live is a project led by musician Ophir Kutiel, the mind and performer behind the “ThruYou” Youtube-based musical project, and consisted of an impressive line-up (including Karolina and members of Hadag Nahash, Funk’n’stein, and Izabo).

The band thrilled the crowd with some overwhelming funk and groove songs, which even George Clinton would have loved to perform and DJ Shadow would have proudly sampled.

They also performed some of the “ThruYou” songs with great accuracy (which is quite impressive given the fact that they’re taken from bits of videos from Youtube).

“Pure fun” would be a good way to sum it up.


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