Album review: DJ Shadow, “The Mountain Will Fall”

by Jon E. Lynch

DJ Shadow, “The Mountain Will Fall”

Available: Now via Mass Appeal as a download, CD and a double vinyl LP

Just barely into the seventh month of the year we’ve slinked into the midway point of 2016 releases. Many blogs, music websites, print publications, zines, etc. etc. etc., as if on cue, will be or have already released the requisite Best Records of 2016 (Thus Far) Review Redux Pt 1. To Be Continued Compendium. This is done by music journalists, the more-than-casual music lover and armchair critics alike in order to take stock of what we’ve heard thus far and to perhaps focus the dwindling list of the year’s Most Anticipated Releases.

Considering as such, the timing is damn near giddy perfect as DJ Shadow (born Josh Davis) releases his sixth full-length record, “The Mountain Will Fall,” his first in five years. It should be noted that it has been near 20 years since the release of his near-perfect, groundbreaking and genre-defining classic, “Endtroducing,” but you’d never know it. Shadow is as fresh as ever, still crate-digging for the perfect sample, blending and bending sonic styles with seeming ease, and combining contemporary hip-hop with found sounds and down-tempo trip-hop to cull (perhaps) one of 2016’s finest albums. Shadow chooses his company deliberately, enlisting famed German ambient composer/musician/producer Nils Frahm on a track, in addition to U.K. multitalent Matthew Halsall on “Ashes to Oceans,” one of the record’s cleanest cuts. If all that wasn’t enough, Run the Jewels (El-P & Killer Mike) make an appearance on what may be the best single track – hip-hop or otherwise – of 2016.

Recommended for fans of Cut Chemist, J Dilla, Kid Koala, RJD2 or Dan the Automator

— Jon E. Lynch[email protected]


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