DJ Shadow

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DJ Shadow

Being a DJ Shadow fan in 2011 can feel a little like being devoted to, say, Todd Rundgren. It's been 15 years now since Josh Davis released Entroducing....., the prodigiously executed sampler workout that would come to be hailed as one of the defining albums of the '90s, and become an albatross for its creator. But if the record has cast a long shadow over Davis' subsequent work, he hasn't helped himself by delivering follow-ups as scattershot as 2006's The Outsider. To say that new effort The Less You Know, the Better is an improvement on its much-maligned predecessor isn't really saying much, and its mood swings are so abrupt that it might as well be a compilation of work by rival producers. The Shadow faithful can keep on holding out for him to deliver another masterpiece; the rest of the world, alas, has probably lost interest.