I always hold my breath when I hear DJ Shadow's name. "Entroducing" was just the start of his experiments in hip-hop and electronica, but there's been some patchy contributions along the way. His turn with U.N.K.L.E. was brilliant, his 2006 album "The Outsider" was not. His mix "Diminishing Returns" sounded fresh, his collaborations with Cut Chemist inspired, his remix of Keane a snoozer.
So I was a little anxious to hear of a new track out, "Def Surrounds Us." In what Shadow (born Josh Davis) describes as a mix of electro, dub-step and drum 'n' bass, the track swirls around an ominous spoken word sample with a wiry, minimalistically trippy beat and subtle crescendo. The result? Pretty good.
Some Kind of Awesome pointed out the stream, ripped from Zane Lowe's BBC 1 show. It features a few good words with the DJ, who seems laser-focused on shining off his as-yet-untitled solo set and follow-up to "The Outsider." Shadow says he's finished with about 35 or 40 minutes of tracking. Now, instead of anxious, I'm just eager to hear more.
What do you think of "Def Surrounds Us?"