Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1096

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DJ Shadow: O2 Academy Brixton, London 29/2/20

DJ Shadow: O2 Academy Brixton, London 29/2/20 @bluesandsoul.com
DJ Shadow: O2 Academy Brixton, London 29/2/20 @bluesandsoul.com DJ Shadow: O2 Academy Brixton, London 29/2/20 @bluesandsoul.com DJ Shadow: O2 Academy Brixton, London 29/2/20 @bluesandsoul.com DJ Shadow: O2 Academy Brixton, London 29/2/20 @bluesandsoul.com DJ Shadow: O2 Academy Brixton, London 29/2/20 @bluesandsoul.com DJ Shadow: O2 Academy Brixton, London 29/2/20 @bluesandsoul.com DJ Shadow: O2 Academy Brixton, London 29/2/20 @bluesandsoul.com DJ Shadow: O2 Academy Brixton, London 29/2/20 @bluesandsoul.com DJ Shadow: O2 Academy Brixton, London 29/2/20 @bluesandsoul.com

When the masterful "Endtroducing...." was released back in 1996, it set a benchmark for producers the world over. Alongside J Dilla's "Donuts", it stands to this day as a standard-bearer for sampled hip-hop.

Since those heady days nearly a quarter of a century ago, Shadow hasn't stood still, amassing a body of work that's been justifiably acclaimed. His latest long-player, the double-sided "Our Pathetic Age" combines his deft ear for an atmospheric instrumental (on side A) with collaborations with some of the best rappers on the planet (side B).

Such is the depth of the 47-year-old's music that the sound needs to be just right inside Brixton Academy for it to work and if there's one thing that his back catalogue makes entirely clear, it's that Shadow is a stickler for detail, and the deep bass that accompanied his set was completely on point, which is no easy feat.

As well as a top-notch soundcheck inside the South London venue, the visuals were something to behold. Suddenly “All the music you hear tonight has been entirely made by DJ Shadow" comes an announcement at the start of the set, and the veteran producer proceeds to demonstrate why so many packed inside the venue to see him perform. "Kings & Queens" booms out triumphantly, while De La Soul collaboration "Rocket Fuel" is delivered with urgency.

The light show and the top-notch sound combine to give a fantastic showcase of Shadow's work, as he guides the crowd back through his career. "Midnight In A Perfect World" has added punch as it thunders through Brixton Academy, and is met by cheers from an elated audience.

Hip-hop has changed a lot since DJ Shadow first emerged, but his constant evolution and eye-catching stage show suggest he's going to be a fixture on the scene for many years to come.

PHOTOS: DAVE BURKE
Words Dave Burke

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