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DJ Shadow Endtroducing-Deluxe Edition

Most of the reasons why this album moved me are too irrational and sentimental to be written here. Josh Davis‘ classic ‘96 debut proved that instrumental hip-hop could arrest the imagination in ways that the English language cannot. How he translated literal piles of discarded funk, soul, jazz, and classical records into music that seemed so futuristic at the time is a mystery. This reissue-which digitally polishes the original album and throws in a bonus disc of demos, overdub-free mixes, B-sides, and a live track-is best when it leaves that mystery unsolved. Listen to the bonuses just once; they are crumbled up sketches, with the exception of Cut Chemist‘s golden touch on "The Number Song." While Endtroducing‘s turntable-mixed beats sound rather sluggish in our DSP age and not every idea has aged well, this album still makes hip-hop‘s future look bright.

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