Standing as a prominent figure in the development of instrumental hip-hop beat design, specializing in turntable wizardry and producing the critically acclaimed and historically ranked 1996 album, Endtroducing….., it’s clear that DJ Shadow has played an indisputable role in shaping and developing the electronic music genre and the roots of today’s beat culture. However, as a consequence of constantly being on tour since 2012, it’s been half a decade since Shadow has released a proper album, and his fans, old and new alike, have been anxiously awaiting to behold the next chapter of his ever-evolving career. Luckily for us, the history making musician just released his fifth LP via Mass Appeal, The Mountain Will Fall; a confident, twelve-track album that showcases a new direction for DJ Shadow’s extensive, twenty plus year music career.
After recently embarking on the pacemaking, bass-heavy side project, Nite School Klik, with trailblazing, NorCal up-and-comer G Jones and launching his very own, future-facing imprint, Liquid Amber, DJ Shadow has begun immersing himself in the world of contemporary hip-hop inspired, beat driven music, a transition that largely inspired his vision for The Mountain Will Fall. The Mountain Will Fall sees the influential artist largely leaning away from his distinctive, sample-driven style and more towards the use of live instrumentation and original composition. Along with boasting a new balance of old school cut-and-paste sampling woven through new school original work, The Mountain Will Fall showcases DJ Shadow’s broad musical taste and highly opened production perspective, resulting in an exceptionally prolific album that pushes his own personal boundaries and showcases his constant battle for musical evolution, adaptation and stylistic shapeshifting. Although an ambitious and slightly unexpected record, The Mountain Will Fall overall is impressively original, far reaching and refreshingly unique as it explores numerous sounds, styles, mood and structures while bringing together elements of both old and new school. It seems that it’s Shadow’s unwillingness to conform paired with his unquenchable thirst for musical inventiveness that’s kept his musical spark alive for so long, gifting him the priceless flexibility of successfully throwing himself into the fire of today’s electronic music scene.