DJ Shadow ‘Flashback’ and ‘Trip Out’ mixes for XFM

Way back in March I was asked by Eddy Temple-Morris if I would be interested in putting together a short mix offering my take on the work of DJ Shadow. This was to form part of a marathon special on his XFM show celebrating Josh’s career and tying into a compilation of some sort which has since evolved into the ‘Reconstruction’ release and deluxe box set.

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a big Shadow fan so this was a thrilling opportunity and also a daunting task. The mix had to be between 17 and 20 minutes long according to Eddy, how on earth to fit so many great tracks into that length of time? No idea but best get down to it and see what develops. Going through my extensive collection threw up over 80 potential tracks, skits, remixes, co-productions and original samples which totaled over 6 hours of music if I remember correctly. How to do this so that it wouldn’t be just another Shadow mix? How to present the ubiquitous but essential ‘Organ Donor’ in an exciting way? Have a listen…

Well, I couldn’t get it down to to 17 minutes, or 20, but squeezed it all into 23 which Eddy graciously let me get away with. I decided to go for the essence of a lot of tracks rather than letting everything play out, trying to edit sympathetically to each track’s progressions so it wouldn’t seem too brutal. I used a lesser-known compilation track (from ‘Turntables On The Hudson’) called ‘Flashback’ as a theme to title the mix as it’s such a blur of sonic information sometimes that it seems like it might be just that. Having not listened back since I made it nearly 6 months ago I find it’s quite an exhilarating ride if a bit relentless, which I quite like but it you might have to be in the mood for it. The solution to ‘Organ Donor’, probably his most well known creation, was to put it at the end, the big bang after a big build, mixing in the original Giorgio Moroder ‘Tears’ sample that forms the main melody as well as a newer production to show that he’s still got it.

But after all that, I still had material left over, specifically large chunks of ambient sound beds that formed a big part of his earlier releases, which is something I love about his music and that stood out as both original and uncompromising at the time. I wanted to put these together as some sort of collage without the usual beats and vocals, maybe it could be used as a bed to talk over on the radio? It was all here, might as well see what could be done with it, I doubted anyone else would go down this route too. The result is the short but sweet ‘Trip Out’ mix…

I was thinking of the KLF‘s classic ‘Chill Out’ album here, hence the pastiche of the cover and the title – also an allusion to hallucination of course but also a knowing wink to the Trip Hop genre tag that has dogged Shadow since the start of his career. I actually think this concept could have been taken further with a bit more production to extend and rearrange sections but time constraints didn’t permit. Anyway, now I had over 30 minutes of mix for Eddy when he only wanted half that. Props to him that he played both and you can hear the whole thing, along with mixes by IRN MNKY, Bare Noize, Stereo:Type and Culprit One online at XFM for the next week. If you’re abroad and you need to enter a postcode to make it think you’re listening from the UK then try W1A 1AA.

8 thoughts on “DJ Shadow ‘Flashback’ and ‘Trip Out’ mixes for XFM

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