19 Songs, 1 Hour 15 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Less You Know, the Better finds DJ Shadow (Josh Davis) returning to entirely sample-based music. A longtime crate digger, Davis creates beats and mixes from the ground up, snipping samples from LPs and weaving them into dense cut-and-paste works of art. In terms of format, this is comparable to his landmark release Endtroducing…. There’s much to savor here and new things to discover with each listen. Davis uses long samples and recognizable song forms as he genre-hops between classic hip-hop (“Back to Front” and “Stay the Course” featuring Posdnous and Talib Kweli), heavy metal (“Border Crossing”), hard rock (“Warning Call,” “I Gotta Rokk”), folk (“I’ve Been Trying”), techno (“Def Surrounds Us”), and a wistful and unexpected piano ballad that gets two treatments (“Sad and Lonely” and “(Not So) Sad and Lonely”). Trippy vocal snippets, turntable scratching, and moments of sublime ambient beauty are sprinkled throughout, making The Less You Know, The Better an enjoyable if uneven listening experience from this defiantly old-school DJ.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Less You Know, the Better finds DJ Shadow (Josh Davis) returning to entirely sample-based music. A longtime crate digger, Davis creates beats and mixes from the ground up, snipping samples from LPs and weaving them into dense cut-and-paste works of art. In terms of format, this is comparable to his landmark release Endtroducing…. There’s much to savor here and new things to discover with each listen. Davis uses long samples and recognizable song forms as he genre-hops between classic hip-hop (“Back to Front” and “Stay the Course” featuring Posdnous and Talib Kweli), heavy metal (“Border Crossing”), hard rock (“Warning Call,” “I Gotta Rokk”), folk (“I’ve Been Trying”), techno (“Def Surrounds Us”), and a wistful and unexpected piano ballad that gets two treatments (“Sad and Lonely” and “(Not So) Sad and Lonely”). Trippy vocal snippets, turntable scratching, and moments of sublime ambient beauty are sprinkled throughout, making The Less You Know, The Better an enjoyable if uneven listening experience from this defiantly old-school DJ.

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