[Interview] DJ Shadow: Roots Music
For many artists, the thoughts of a greatest hits or best of compilation signifies a level of achievement and comfort. And rightfully so. When you compare the number of artists that release music and the ones that even get close to being able to drop a comprehensive collection, the ratio is slim. DJ Shadow just joined those ranks. Five albums deep, plus collaborative albums with Cut Chemist and James Lavelle, Shadow has a catalog worthy of definition. And that’s exactly how Shadow views his recently released Reconstructed, which dropped in September of 2012. “Well, it’s hard for me to call this ‘greatest hits’ cause I don’t make hits,” Shadow joked during our interview on my Closed Sessions Radio show. “Best of is probably a better phrase,” he said.
The new release serves many purposes for Shadow, who still see himself as an artist balancing a loyal fan base with the desire to continually pick up new fans and casual listeners who may be discovering his groundbreaking debut, Entroducing, for the very first time.
“For me it serves two purposes,” he told me. “One is to hopefully expose people to more of my music, but secondarily to kind of put a marker in the ground to define this 20 year period of what I was up to. I don’t want to necessarily be exploring the same themes or trying to hold a lot of cohesion from record to record going forward. I’m proud of the body of work that the ‘best of’ represents, and I felt like it was a good time to do it.”
Hit the next page to hear and read my full interview with DJ Shadow in which he explains why Reconstructed has allowed him to return to his roots, how digging for records has drastically changed, and why he fights to avoid being comfortable.