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by DJ Shadow

Released September 16, 1996 via Mo' Wax

Reviewed September 22, 2021

Top tracks (based on community voting)
Building Steam with a Grain of Salt (66%), Midnight In A Perfect World (60%),
Stem / Long Stem - Medley (34%)

DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing… is not only a seminal piece in the crown of instrumental hip-hop, but is also an homage to the little things in life. Constant stimulus and constant entropy rule the world, but when patterns begin to form, you take notice. The same can be said for Endtroducing…., as its constant repetition hypnotically funnels focus onto the album’s life span. These songs are pieces of music that organically form entire instrumentals like no other. Shuffling drum rhythms provide a heartbeat, as if Endtroducing... is its own person. And during the person’s life, ascending keys—like on “Building Steam…” or the strings that build up halfway through “Stem”—act as memories and moments filling that person’s life. Not only is Endtroducing... a brilliant album musically––especially in the realm of sampling––but it epitomizes the emotional significance of music itself. Vibrations, minute pieces of sound, provide pathways to the past. – Ben (Synth) (10/10)

Endtroducing… led to a revolution in sample-based music, presenting an uncompromising world filled to the brim with details that further cements an untouchable atmosphere. DJ Shadow changed the game with this one, showing people that beat tapes could be more than just a collection of good instrumentals; that they could be experiences akin to any typical release. By utilizing plunderphonics, DJ Shadow created an abstract collage of hazy hip-hop, futuristic trip-hop, and dozens of electronic pathways. All these years later, Endtroducing… remains a holy grail of instrumental hip-hop for good reason. – Jared (10/10)

DJ Shadow's debut album, Endtroducing…, broke new ground for the sonic underbelly of plunderphonics. Combining the likes of trip-hop, downtempo, drum’n’bass, and dark ambience has never been executed as magnificently. Many albums that came before Endtroducing...—on the sample front—reach heights of greatness, but what separates this album from the rest is its unique vibe. Near-haunting in essence, the atmosphere is thick with remorse and sorrow. That pain sticks to the listener in a glue-like entanglement. Endtroducing... captures that late-night stream of thought like no other, creating a surreal space where things move to a different set of rules. Nostalgia is the focal point of Endtroducing..., but it is nostalgia for a place and time that never existed. You are not going to find another album that offers anything close to the quality, feel and atmosphere of Endtroducing…; it is nothing short of an outlier in the music world. – Peter (10/10)

Ben (Synth): 10/10 | Cam: 10/10 | Jared: 10/10 | Peter: 10/10 | Dominick: 9/10

Pablo: 8.5/10 | Pax: 8.5/10 | Daniel: 7.5/10 | DeVán: 7.5/10


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