DJ Shadow - The Private Press
Five years on from his breakout Endtroducing..., hip-hop's reigning recluse showed he still had plenty of tricks up his sleeve - as well as many more rare grooves left for sampling. Shadow had kept a low recording profile during past years, putting out only a few mix sets alongside a pair of collaborations (Psyence Fiction by Unkle and Quannum Spectrum). That lack of product actually helps The Private Press display just how good a producer he is; the depth of his production sense and the breadth of his stylistic palette prove just as astonishing the second time out. His style is definitely still recognizable, right from the start; Fixed Income and Giving Up the Ghost carefully layer wistful-sounding string arrangements overtop cavernous David Axelrod breaks (the latter a bit reminiscent of Midnight in a Perfect World from Endtroducing...).