Label: Mass Appeal
You can hear DJ Shadow’s perfectionist tendencies on his first album since 2011’s The Less You Know, The Better. The sumptuous title track brings a waft of synthesizer air underlined by electro squelches reminiscent of the Fearless Four’s “Rockin’ It.” In fact, ‘80s techno-hop is commingled with airy and melancholy electronica across the album, from the slapping 808 drums of “Bergschrund” to “Mambo” and its crisp electronic breaks. For longtime Shadow listeners, there’s a turntablist romp in “The Sideshow” that will evoke memories of past classics like “The Number Song.” Meanwhile, “Pitter Patter” spotlights his Liquid Amber imprint and roster acts G Jones and Bleep Bloop. DJ Shadow ably moves between past techno cities and future dub mountains. However, his final track, “Suicide Pact,” sounds uncomfortably bleak.